If your mom is anything like mine, you find it very hard to pick the perfect gift to show just how much you appreciate and love the woman who gave you life! You could go the easy route and stick with something you know she’ll love like spa services, an upscale restaurant gift certificate, a handwritten note, something made by the grandkids or maybe switch it up this year! Believe it or not there is still time…

Gift Ideas:

Shop local! What about a custom frame to go with the new photo of the grandkids (or in my case granddogs)? Check out MFrames on Etsy. MFrames are custom, handmade picture frames and home goods that are affordable, unique and thoughtful. You can even have them engraved! Skip the shipping and pop over to the shop to pick your frame up before Sunday.

TPC tickets! Even if your mom isn’t the biggest fan of golf, THE PLAYERS Championship is a must-see social event. The tournament runs from May 10 – May 15 and all different types of tickets are available from Stadium Passes (with access to more than 19 on-site public venues, local food and beverages, rope-side access to your favorite players and much more) to Family Plans and The Blue Room Passes.

Events:

Take advantage of everything going on in World Golf Village and St. Augustine on Sunday and spend the day with mom!

Mother’s Day Buffet at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort – Get the family together between 11 am and 3 pm. Check out Renaissance’s Facebook Page for the brunch menu. RSVP at (904) 940-8696.

Mother’s Day Brunch at the King & Bear Clubhouse – Reservations required! Members pay $29.95 and non-members pay $34.95 with kids under 12 at $14.95 each (kids 5 and under are free). Contact Ursula Howard at (904) 940-6207 for menu details and to reserve your seats!

Special Mother’s Day Champagne Carriage Ride for Two – The Tasting Tours is offering a very special 3-hour Mother’s Day food and wine tasting extravaganza via horse-drawn carriage on May 7th and May 8th (including champagne and flowers)! The tour is $139 per person and includes VIP boarding, champagne, fresh flowers, 3 hours of food and wine, 4 to 5 food and/or wine tasting venues, wine to enjoy on the carriage and a guided tour of historic St. Augustine.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

 
 
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Apr
 
26
 

I recently caught up with Troy Silhan, Production Manager and resident mortgage expert for Bank of England. He works with many local homeowners and was happy to provide major tips on what NOT to do before and during the loan process. The obvious list of problems to avoid includes pay your bills on time, save for a down payment, and so on. Here are some tips you might not have thought of:

1. DON’T change your name.
Regardless of the occasion (marriage or divorce), make sure not to change your surname when applying for a mortgage. As Troy says, “If you applied for a mortgage as Ms. Jones, then became Mrs. Smith, there is additional paperwork and things to do to make sure you are, in fact, one in the same person.” Your loan officer can let you know when you’re cleared to make the change!

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Almost 10 years ago, the U.S. housing market turned downward and many Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. As a result, these families moved to rental homes, apartments and condos, waiting for the right time to buy again.

Now that the market has recovered, “boomerang buyers” as they’re called, are returning to the market ready to jump back in. However, many others still don’t know if they’re financially ready.

Bank of England Production Manager Troy Silhan recently explained how boomerang buyers can know when they’re ready, as well as what they can expect in this new market.

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Mar
 
14
 

It’s almost time to throw on your “Kiss me I’m Irish” t-shirt and find your nearest watering hole to enjoy a green pint! St. Patrick’s Day is this Thursday and what better way to celebrate than with some festive treats even the most inexperienced cook could whip up in the kitchen. I think we can all agree when I say thank God for Pinterest!

To start, I found some great green treats to share with co-workers in the office or to make with your kiddos. Check out the easy six-step, 10-minute recipe for St Patrick’s Day Muddy Buddies (a fun Irish twist on trail mix). And, while you are whipping up the Muddy Buddies, enjoy some Shamrock Punch! The only ingredients needed are a carton of Lime Sherbert and a 2 liter of Gingerale. Another great holiday snack to try is Lucky Leprechaun Treats. Lucky Leprechaun Treats are green rice crispy treats with lucky charms mixed in! Delicious!

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The Holiday of Love is right around the corner and you probably aren’t any closer to figuring out the perfect way to “woo” your significant other. It’s tough coming up with new ideas every year. Mashable says the seven most popular Valentine’s Day gifts in the US are greeting cards, candy, flowers, an evening out, jewelry, clothing and gift cards. I guarantee you she doesn’t want a box of chocolates or a teddy bear that says “I love you” and he doesn’t want a tie. Let’s think outside of the box!

Groupon: Honestly Groupon has some GREAT deals/packages going on for Valentine’s Day. Search Valentine’s Day Jacksonville or St. Augustine and you will come across spa packages, Cigar Samplers, more than 50% off diamond stud earrings, discounted getaways, nights out and more! You can even have delicious Omaha steaks delivered to cook her/him a romantic meal.

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Father’s Day is coming up quickly (Sunday, June 21) and finding activities that dad likes can be challenging. But rest assured there is plenty to do right here in World Golf Village for dad’s big holiday this year. Here are some ideas guaranteed to make his day great!

U.S. Open Week at World Golf Hall of Fame – From Thursday, June 18, to Sunday, June 21, the Hall of Fame is celebrating U.S. Open Week. Go on a scavenger hunt through the Hall of Fame and have your photo taken with the U.S. Open trophy. In addition to its numerous exhibits, the Hall of Fame will also be showing the tournament throughout the museum during regular business hours.

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For Floridians, a pricey electricity bill during the summer is just par for the course. According to the Florida Public Service Commission, the cost to cool your home can increase 12% for each degree setting below 78 degrees. But, there are relatively simple and effective ways to help keep your AC costs down without having to adjust your thermostat at all.

1. Create shade for your roof. Much of the heat that enters your home from the sun comes in via the roof. Planting shady trees around your home will help block out some of that heat. Head to a nursery and find some strong 15 or 20 ft. shade trees, and within a few years, your trees will provide your home with significant shade from the hot sun.

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Have you ever painted a room only to find the color is all wrong? Or installed new tile and later wondered what you were thinking? These are the types of mistakes Donna Mancini can help you avoid.

As Designer and Principal of Donna Mancini Staging & Redesign (soon to be Donna Mancini Interiors and Flooring), the design veteran has helped clients evade costly design mistakes and create beautifully exquisite spaces that are tailored to their personalities and functionality needs. She also specializes in staging for homeowners who want to make their homes ready sell.

And now, Donna is preparing to open a new showroom and design center on US1. We recently caught up with Donna to learn more about her business as well as her new showroom.

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Mother’s Day can be hard to plan for…what to do? Where to go? What to buy her? Luckily, this year there is a LOT going on right in our own backyard for the whole family to enjoy. Make this Mother’s Day a “staycation”!

Black and Blue Grill: Did you know Black and Blue Grill just won Best Family Restaurant by the Taste of St. Augustine? They are offering a delicious Mother’s Day menu from noon to 9 pm on Sunday, May 10th. Reservations recommended! Find more information on their Facebook Page.

The King & Bear Clubhouse: Enjoy a Mother’s Day brunch buffet at the King & Bear Clubhouse from 11 am to 3 pm. The buffet includes everything from an omelet station to raspberry glazed salmon and a prime rib carving station! Non-members welcome. Reservations required – (904) 940-6207.

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As Americans, we love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with green beer, wacky shamrock sunglasses, corned beef and festooned parades. But if you are one of the 33.3 million Americans who claim Irish ancestry (or you’re just curious), why not spend this St. Patrick’s Day in a more traditional Irish way? Here are four ways to spend your St. Patty’s Day in the way of the Irish of yesteryear:

 1. Skip the parades and hullabaloo.  For centuries, the Irish honored the patron saint of Ireland St. Patrick by observing March 17 as a holy day with a feast. This included attending mass and gathering for a large family meal. In fact, until the 1970s, many of Ireland’s pubs were closed on St. Patrick’s Day in observance of St. Patrick, who died on March 17, AD 461.

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