Join the Central Florida Craft Show Circuit

Craft fair2

Most families could do with a little extra income these days. This is easier said than done, as many of us know. However, there are still a few realistic avenues left to explore. With the job market so tight, it’s time to think outside the box. Why not create your own small business? Work right from the comfort of your own home, making your own hours!

One such opportunity exists in the Central Florida craft show and craft fair circuits. In a depressed economy, people are still looking for outings and entertainment. In fact, in a bad economic climate, people are looking for inexpensive ways to have some fun and buy hand made items that are both creative and don’t bust the budget. If you’re the artistic or crafty type, take a look at how you might use the tight economy to your advantage, making some extra income and have a lot of fun yourself. 

Perhaps you have a hobby, that you’ve practiced for years, making gifts for family and friends. Do you knit or crochet? Raise bonsai plants? Make jewelry? Are you an amateur photographer? Maybe you’re a garage sale fanatic, shopping the weekend sales for great bargains. Any of these hobbies can become a personal business, bringing in some income to offset rising expenses.

There are frequent craft fairs and craft shows in the Orlando and Central Florida area.  Bucklers Craft fair, for example, draws in painters, artists, cooks, and sculptors from all over the state of Florida.  Whether you live in Lakeland or Orlando, Celebration or Winter Haven, there are craft shows in abundance, year around. The cost of renting a booth is nominal, usually no more than $25 for a weekend craft show. No matter what your talent, you can build up an inventory of product in your spare time at very little cost. If you follow the craft show circuits in your area, chances are good that you can sell out at each event. Your overhead is about as minimal as it can get, requiring a small investment in materials, work that you enjoy and a few weekends of selling throughout the year.

People who are artistically inclined are apt to be able to diversify their skills. For example, during the Christmas season, you can make decorations and wreaths. Crocheted or knitted caps and mittens sell well during this time. How about flower arrangements for Mother’s Day? Jewelry sells well all year long. With an eye to the retro market, your garage sale finds can turn a profit. You are certainly not taking advantage of anyone. You’ve invested your time and savvy eye to finding what people want. The craft shows and craft fairs provide a venue that brings your talent to a wide audience, looking for something just a little bit different.

If you’re looking for an extra source of ongoing income, put on your thinking cap and see how you might put your artistic talent to work for you. The rewards of participating in craft shows around Central Florida might just fill the bill!

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Cake Making Tips

Using a boxed cake mix is perhaps the easiest way to make a chocolate cake. But cake prepared out of a boxed mix may be pretty plain and dull as well. Nevertheless, you may make the usual cake from boxed mix much tastier with some straightforward and easy ideas. Here are a few of them.

You can make the cake a lot more appetizing by adding other elements. You may use chocolate chips or mini M&M’s for the same. Ideally, you ought to mix a mug or two of the chocolate chips to the mix for most sufficient outcomes. First create the batter as directed and add the chocolate chips towards the very finish. Now bake the cake as instructed and Voila! You will have classic chocolate cake with a yummy twist in no time, thanks to the chocolate chips.

Another good trick that could help contribute flavor to the usual boxed mix is to employ 2 diverse flavors simultaneously. Perfect is usually to choose chocolate cake and white cake. Create a batter of the 2 cake mix in several bowls. Then in a third bowl create layers of the white cake mix batter and the chocolate cake mix batter. Put this layered cake mix for baking now. You can also contribute a twist to this cake by giving it a swirl look. Merely put the two batters together, and give it a light mix. This will add to the visual appeal of the cake and will at the same time gorge your taste buds as well.

While water is typically used to blend all the ingredients, you can exchange it with chocolate milk rather. Adding the chocolate milk to your cake mix will not just make it creamier however additionally provides it an additional chocolate zest. However, remember to utilize toned chocolate milk rather of the full cream variety when utilizing it for the cake. It gives the cake the suitable consistency.

You could additionally improve the flavor of your cake by adding frozen fruit to the mix. It will add a fruity flavor to your cake. Nevertheless, while you might have numerous frozen fruit options to make a choice between, frozen raspberries work the greatest. In case you’re utilizing frozen fruit, bear in mind to add them at the very end and combine it in lightly. Additionally, you are needed to cook the cake for slightly longer than the instructed time on the package when utilizing the fruits.

Marshmallow cream could also intensify the flavors of your usual chocolate cake. Take fifty percent of the cake combine ‘n pour it into a bowl and then add a marshmallow cream layer. End it away by pouring the leftover fifty percent of the cake mix into the bowl and cook as directed. Your children are bound to like the gooey cake centre of this certain cake.

There are some individuals who relish the flavor of coffee. Adding coffee liqueur to your cake can as well enhance the flavor significantly. About half mug of coffee liqueur ought to serve the aim well. When using coffee liqueur, you’ll have to replace some amount of liquid that you are utilizing to prepare the mix.

So, what are you waiting for? Simply use these easy ideas and you are surely going to love the taste of the common boxed cake like never before.

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Central Florida Swimming Pool Designs

pool design3

Living in Central Florida where it is upwards of at least 80 degrees most of the year, most of us have considered installing a pool at some point. There are many things to consider when making such a decision, however, if you decided to go for it, you may as well go for something that you really love. For something truly special, go with some new and interesting swimming pool designs that make your pool more personal and more enjoyable.

Swimming pool designs that you come up with on your own are going to cost you more when you have your pool installed as a pre-made model, but you may very well think that extra cost will be well worth it. This is something that celebrities do quite often, but you don’t have to be a celebrity to want to have something that reflects your lifestyle or your interests. This is something that you are going pay for, and will be with you for a long time, so you may as well take advantage and get creative.  Many pool designs can be tweaked to reflect your style or you can come up with a completely unique design.

What do you do for a living?  What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? These are things that you may want to think about when you are thinking of swimming pool designs and ideas. If you love to play guitar, for example, there is no reason why you can’t have a pool that is shaped like one. If you own an ice cream shop, you can have a pool that is in the shape of an ice cream cone with a few scoops on the top. These can make some pretty cool swimming pools.

Perhaps a pool shape feels a little bit over the top for you.  You don’t have to think of a shape when coming up with swimming pool designs and ideas. You can go with something that is still out of the ordinary. You can have a waterfall that goes into your pool, and a real rock surrounding that makes your pool feel more like an oasis rather than a built in pool. You can do just about anything when thinking of your swimming pool design ideas. Go with different materials like stone, tile, and even glass. Use whatever colors you want, and make sure everything makes you feel relaxed and refreshed.

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Flooring and Carpet in Orlando

Many home owners shop for flooring and carpet in Orlando. All houses need a variety of flooring materials to meet the unique needs of different spaces. Wall to wall carpet does not function well in bathrooms and laundry rooms. Kitchens also do much better with hard surface flooring simply because of food and water spills. Some areas in the house are great for wall to wall carpet, while others would do better with difficult surface flooring and region rugs. Getting the right mix of flooring is essential for the comfort and beauty of your house.

The areas that do best with wall to wall carpet are:

  • living room
  • bedrooms
  • hallways in the bedroom region
  • locations with uneven sub flooring
  • areas about the lower level with cement sub floor and a tendency to be cold

Wall to wall carpet gives a region a nice uniform finish with softness and comfort promised. It is nicer to get out of bed on a nice warm carpet than a cold ceramic tile floor. In areas like living rooms and family rooms there might be children playing games on the floors.

The locations that do better with hard surface flooring and area rugs are:

  • the ones that you simply want difficult surface area flooring for that durability and ease of cleaning, but want some areas of warmth and color.
  • a living room or loved ones room that’s already covered with wood flooring or ceramic tile and requirements to have conversation locations accented or a soft region for that children to play.
  • oh.area rugs do a excellent job of hiding defects and stains on existing wall to wall carpet or wood flooring.

Area rugs function best when sized right and placed with care. An area rug that is too small or too large for that space looks awkward. Region rugs have the advantage of becoming movable, so you can take them with you when you move, or take them out of the house to clean.

There are many businesses that specialize in flooring and Carpet in Orlando and Central Florida.  Businesses like Galloway Flooring Warehouse, located in Central Florida may be a good choice for purchasing your flooring and carpet.  Galloway Flooring Warehouse has hundreds of area rugs online as well as hundreds on display in their Central Florida location. Area rugs are one of the few decorating items that is great to splurge on. 

Since flooring sees the difficult use of always being walked on, get the greatest you can afford and maintain it. Dirt can help damage rug fibers and diminish the beauty from the carpet. So whatever you invest in, think quality and take care of your flooring and carpets.

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Protect your Child’s Emotional Well-Being

In our effort to balance extremely full and hectic lives with our families and our jobs, we may perhaps have been neglecting an all-important facet of our child’s life:  their emotional well-being.  The first three years of a child’s life is a vital time.  The drama involved in the changing of child care providers or having a ‘part-time’ parent float in and out of their lives can be really traumatic and destabilizing for them.  It’s imperative that mother and father, educators, involved adults and care providers make a concerted joint effort to ensure that a child’s emotional needs are met on a daily basis, just as their physical needs are.  The effects of not meeting a child’s emotional needs, specifically during the first three years, can have devastating consequences. Violent, disruptive or defiant behaviors often result from emotional neglect.

The very first 3 years of everyday living are crucial in a number of ways. This is when bonding and emotional separation takes place.  If there are interruptions in either of these processes, misbehaviors from the child can result. This can later have an effect on their relationships later in life and hinder them in developing their own healthy relationships as adolescents or adults.  Teenagers and adults who seem to be “socially awkward” are often that way due to emotional neglect sustained as a child.

Through the first three a long time of life, the brain goes through its most rapid development.  By the time they’re 3 years-old, the brain is already ‘hardwired’ from the experiences they’ve had to that point.  It is imperative that these be loving, supportive, safe, good experiences so the brain will be conditioned to expect positive things.  If they’ve been frightening, hurtful, abusive, or dangerous, then the brain is conditioned to anticipate negative occurrences.  These neurological tendencies often are sustained throughout a lifetime.  A child who has suffered emotional abuse or neglect will struggle with these tendencies that are manifested in social behavior or thought processes for the rest of their lives.

For that reason it’s essential that parents, caregivers and other involved adults make a concerted effort to make sure the child’s emotional needs are met in a good, constructive and wholesome manner.  Parents ought to ensure that the childcare providers are stable and consistent, and don’t move them around to several childcare providers during this critical phase. It is important to ensure that your child feels safe  and secure with structured and consistent schedules and routines.  Be sure to spend as much high quality time with your child as possible at this time, regardless of your otherwise busy and hectic lifestyle.  Your child can sense that such a schedule is stressful to you and it can become a frightening or confusing element for them.  Thus it is crucial to take time out to reassure them that you’re in no way too busy for them.

Remember that your child’s mental well-being is just as essential as their physical, so do your part to ensure your son or daughter knows he or she is growing up safe, secure, treasured and loved.

If you are a new dad or mom, you will have your hands full. And as a new dad or mom, your name and address has no question discovered its way on to a parent mailing list or new parent mailing list. Marketing organizations often collect your info to create a new parent list, which they market to a range of industries. Quite a few corporations will send you offers inside the mail for valuable items and services you may require as a new father or mother. You may want to watch your mailbox for these kinds of offers, as they can save you tons of time and money, along with provide you with great parenting tips and tricks!

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Laminate Floor Repair in Central Florida

laminate flooring

In Central Florida, more and more people are using laminate flooring in their homes. Gone are the types of laminate floors that look cheesy and make a room look cheap. When you use this, even in a very expensively decorated home, you are going to love the options that you now have. Laminate wood floor, for example, looks as good as the real thing, and some cannot tell the difference. Though this flooring is very durable, things can happen. It’s best to know a little about laminate floor repair when something goes wrong.

The type of laminate floor you have depends on the style you choose and even the room in which you are going to lay your new floor. This makes a difference in how you go about laminate floor repair. Some come in rolls and others are going to come in tiles. Obviously, laminate floor repair is going to be easier if you are dealing with tiles, but that does not mean that floors that come in long rolls cannot be fixed. It might take a bit more effort, but, rest assured, you don’t have to live with nicks and scratches.

The way that your flooring is installed can tell you how easy or difficult laminate floor repair is going to be. There are many different types of glues that you can use to put down the floors and some hold better than others. Some are also easy to get up when a tile needs to be replaced, and that is probably the easiest laminate floor repair that you can do. However, these glues may not hold the floor down as it should and Florida humidity may affect results.  Be sure to find the best of both when you lay your laminate yourself or when discussing your options with your local contractor.

If you have tiles, you have probably guessed that your laminate floor repair is going to be much easier. You only have to remove that tile, if the damage is that extensive, and then you can go about adding a new tile of the same pattern. This job should be easy and quick, though you do have to use the same drying time rules that you used when the floor was installed. It’s important to wait 24 hours or more after laminate floor repair before traffic hits the area.

When your laminate floor repair involves long rolls of flooring, you may have to pick up the entire area covered by the damage. However, that is not always necessary. Ask your local Central Florida home improvement store for easier ways to go about your laminate floor repair.  It is best to have your laminate floors installed professionally by a local Central Florida contractor or Central Florida flooring expert unless you confident in your own skills.  Either way, be sure to keep extra tiles or laminate on hand so that you always know that you have an exact match if a flaw arises.

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Design A Mexican Style Garden in Central Florida

In the present times it’s a common sight to see to see each house with a garden. Not every house might necessarily have same kind of gardens. If you want to exhibit a totally different look for your garden, you can go in for the Mexican style for an analogous.When you talk about this style of gardening, there is plethora of options to choose from. Some of the most well known variations of the Mexican style gardens are the one with water elements or the one which emphasizes more on the yard style forms.

The obligatory theme of Mexican style gardens revolved around Mexican landscapes such as desert, coast and lush tropical forests. You may want to concentrate on one actual side of Mexico like the coasts. Alternatively,you also have the choice to put together different Mexican elements but it might be better if you’ve got a theme that revolves around one particular aspect only. When you have decided the urgent theme, you wish to work on,you can go ahead choosing props and selecting the layout.

As fast as you have fixed the basic theme of your Mexican garden, you should start hunting for stills of such gardens on the internet.Based on these photos, you will be in a position to decide which props will be required for the garden. More importantly, you will be ready to decide the plants for your garden so it is getting a pure Mexican feel.

What’s a garden without proper plants. In the majority of the garden images, you will find plants like cactus or other tropical flora. This is because of the fact that Mexico is part desert with very less water. Along with these, you should also plant some lemon, banana and orange trees. As an addition, you should also make some flower beds in your garden.

Typically,all Mexican gardens have one central socializing area. It is important that you focus on the socializing area too. Ideally, the socializing area should have an external cooking facility together with some place to relax and eat. After you have put together all the basic must haves of the socializing area, finish it by utilizing suitable tiles. For a Mexican style look, go in for tiles in earthy tones such as reds, browns, terracotta and the like.

Correct garden furniture is a really important aspect of a garden and more so when you’re working on a Mexican garden. The finest choice here is rustic furniture that has charm of its own. Tables made from wrought iron, chairs and benches etc are particularly endorsed.They bring the image of true, wild Mexico to your garden. For more effect, place some wrought-iron candelabras in the garden.

Planning a Mexican style garden isn’t so complicated.Just keep Mexico in your grey matter and you will be able to come up with garden that you desire.

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Celebration Homeowners Beware Water Problems

February 14, 2015 by  
Filed under Central Florida Living

water problem story photo

If you live in Celebration, there may be a kind of “time bomb” ready to go off in your house at any moment. Thanks goes to a dozen or so residents who have called our attention to it, including Dennis Kennen (who started a thread on the Front Porch last month) and to Rick Amick (who posted a thorough explanation and warning). The problem is sudden and unexpected water leaks inside the house. The root cause: water pressure delivered to our homes that significantly exceeds County and Uniform Plumbing Codes, coupled with the omission by Celebration builders to install simple pressure relief valves.

Just ask residents such a Thomas Muery, Renato Texiara, and William Abendschein. All had expensive repairs totaling thousands of dollars.

The solution is relatively simple: a pressure relief valve installed in the water line just before it enters the home.

I just had one installed in my house in East Village, after I learned of the danger by reading the Front Porch thread started by Kennen. Suddenly, recent incidents nearby suddenly became clear. Earlier this year, my immediate neighbor suffered extensive water damage to the entire first floor of his house. Three months later, his neighbor had a water pipe burst, flooding half his house and ruining the carpet. A few blocks away, a friend had a burst water line just a week ago. The next day I had a mysterious trickle of water form under our washing machine.

Kevin the Plumber verified my fear. The pressure was about 120 psi, far exceeding the recommended maximum of about 80 psi. In a bit over an hour, Kevin installed a pressure relief valve, his second such installation that day. The water pressure time bomb has stopped ticking at my house.

But that raises an interesting issue. Should not some public organization (such as the County, CCDD, or CROA) be warning residents of this danger? Do the builders have an ethical responsibility to warn all the homeowners? What about real estate agents who sell houses to unsuspecting buyers?

Based on the talk around town, the attitude seems to be Caveat Emptor … Let the Buyer Beware. The Water Department, CCDD, The Celebration Company, builders, and real estate agents all seem to be pointing their fingers either at the others or at the home owners themselves.

Thus it falls to the Fourth Estate (a term coined by Edmund Burke, meaning “the Press”).

We urge you not to procrastinate. Test your water pressure with a simple pressure gauge available at Lowe’s, Home Depot, or a good hardware store. If it exceeds roughly 85 psi, buy and install a pressure relief valve. Or call a reliable plumber like Kevin (their repair costs reportedly vary between $150 and $250, depending on the size of house and other factors).

Even if the water lines in your house have held until now, the excessive pressure month after month may eventually produce a weak point, causing what could be inconvenience (at best) and catastrophic, expensive damage (at worst).

Just because our public servants haven’t waived a red flag, it doesn’t mean there isn’t danger. Just ask the residents with posts on the Front Porch, category “Place& Community.”

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Palace Italian Restaurant in Lakeland, Florida

Palace Italian Restaurant in Lakeland, Florida is the best Italian dinner you will find in Central Florida.  With six locations throughout Central Florida, there is no reason that anyone who calls Central Florida home should ever have an Italian meal that is anything less than divine.

I have been enjoying the cuisine at Palace Italian in Lakeland for years. Shame on me for not shedding light on this remarkable Italian restaurant sooner.  My friend and I most recently visited the North Lakeland Palace Italian Restaurant location.

Food:  Is “divine” a word that you can use to describe food?  Have you ever had a meal at a restaurant and while eating it you seriously contemplated if God created the chef, his/her imparted knowledge of the culinary arts, and the components of your meal especially for you?  As vain as that may sound, those are the thoughts that cross my mind each time I eat at a Palace Italian Restaurant. To describe all of my favorite dishes and why I love them would simply be the beginnings of a book.  But, I will tell you that the flavors are fresh and authentic, the dishes are artfully crafted, the portions are very generous, and every bite is as perfectly delightful as the one before. Not to mention, the desserts are made in-house; daily. Light and blissful tiramisu, the absolute best cannoli you will ever have in your life, a tiramisu-like strawberry shortcake to die for, and much more. Disappointment is inconceivable.

Atmosphere:  Palace Italian Restaurant not only has a beautiful décor, but a comfortable ambiance that resembles the feel of a home.  Not the kind of home where 50 relatives are crammed into a dining room made for ten, but the kind of home that is made for 100 but you feel like the dinner was made just for you.  Personalized trinkets are found throughout these family owned and operated Italian restaurants and this family welcomes you to their dinner table.

Customer Service: From Pizzerias to fine Italian dining, no matter the location, it is clear that Palace Italian Restaurant is dedicated to the entire dining experience and not only the food. You will always be greeted and served with a smile. Furthermore, due to the pride they take in their traditional family recipes and the quality of their dishes, they will ensure that you are completely satisfied with your meal. During my most recent visit to Palace Italian Restaurant in North Lakeland, I had the pleasure of speaking with Sal, who, along with his wife, owns the North Lakeland location.  I was very interested to learn that all Palace Italian Restaurants throughout Central Florida are family owned and operated.  The first one, Palace Pizza, opened in downtown Lakeland in 1997 and is still going strong today.  Since then, this family from Naples, Italy has groomed sons, brothers, aunts, and cousins of the family to open locations throughout Central Florida. Lucky for us!

Palace Italian Restaurant - 6 locations throughout Central Florida

Downtown Lakeland
114 S. Dentucky Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801

Highlands City
5235 Highway 98 South
Lakeland, FL 33812

South Lakeland
5720 South Florida Ave.
Lakeland, FL 33813

North Lakeland
6120 North Highway 98
Lakeland, FL 33810

Shepherd Rd, Mulberry
2054 Shepherd Road
Lakeland, FL 33860

Downtown Bartow
105 Main St. East
Bartow, FL 33830

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Corpus Christi Opens New Church in Celebration

Children gathered around the altar of the new Corpus Christi Catholic Church compete to answer Father Gregory's questions about Christmas at the traditional Christmas Eve Mass.

Children gathered around the altar of the new Corpus Christi Catholic Church compete to answer Father Gregory's questions about Christmas at the traditional Christmas Eve Mass.


Celebration’s Corpus Christi Catholic Church, which had previously held its services at Celebration High School Cafeteria, recently competed its new church building on Celebration Avenue and Waterside Drive, just in time for Christmas.  The result is a stunning, classical-style building inside and out that not only fits well with the architectural pattern established by The Celebration Company, but also becomes an attractive, prominent landmark of the community. 

Groundbreaking for the church was held in November 2008, though construction did not begin in earnest until the following January.  “It seems remarkable that they could finish such a large and complex building in such a relatively short time,” said Celebration resident Dan Tomsick, who during his daily walks past the site kept track of progress.  Brasfield & Gorrie, the general contractor for the project and a Fortune 500 company, kept up a steady pace, especially in the last three weeks when the seating, altar art, and stained glass windows were installed. 

As a consequence, pastor Father Gregory Parkes, was able to celebrate the first Mass in the new building on December 24 morning to a nearly full house of excited parishioners from not only Celebration, but also Orlando, Kissimmee, and the entire Four Corners area. In a ceremony beforehand outside the front doors, Tim Dwyer of Brasfield & Gorrie handed the keys over to Building Committee Chairman Jack Blitch, who in turn presented them to Father Gregory.   After humbly thanking the Committee, Father Gregory acknowledged the hard work and support of the trades people, the Parish, and the Town. 

“We received the certificate of occupancy only a few days before,” later confided Father Gregory, “and the parishioners scrambled to move our liturgical materials from the High School and to set up the church, complete with the Nativity scene and various Christmas flowers and decorations.”  Parishioners were particularly touched by the members of the Celebration Presbyterian Church down the street; they brought two lighted Christmas trees that were placed alongside the exterior front doors of the church, as well as some beautiful Christmas wreathes that were hung on the front facade. 

Fortunately, everything worked relatively smoothly at that first mass.  Seven hours later, the Church hosted an overflow crowd for its 5 pm Christmas Eve Mass that featured the Children’s Choir. Father Gregory opened the liturgy with a greeting and then the rhetorical exclamation, “Can we give glory and praise to God for this beautiful church?” — to which the congregation responded with enthusiastic and prolonged applause. 

Even without any advertising or notices in the neighboring hotels, the turnout for the four Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses was remarkable.  Observed Bert Fitzgibbons, “We had about 3200 people attend those four Masses, nearly double the number at the same number of Masses held last year in the High School cafeteria.” 

The Church will be formally dedicated at 5 pm on Saturday January 16, with Bishop Thomas Wenski of the Orlando Diocese presiding. 

Details about Corpus Christi Catholic Church can be found at

Other Celebration Church News:
Ridge Assembly of God Church opens at AMC Theatre  ’Ridge at Celebration‘  


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