Hurricane Prep: How Safety Features Can Improve Your Property Value

By Jennifer Nelson for Corcoran


With 2017 stacking up as one of the priciest hurricane seasons in Florida history, it’s become even more important to invest in ways to protect your home—and maintain its value.

“Investing in home storm safety features now will pay dividends later when a storm is imminent—in terms of both preventing damage to your home and its resale value,” says Geoff Darnell, sales associate at Corcoran, who has lived and worked in Palm Beach since the 80s.

Here are his recommendations for safety features that offer a return on investment (ROI) for safety and value:

Storm Impact Windows

Storm impact windows not only can withstand the force of a storm, they can reduce how much you spend to cool your home—offering excellent ROI if you’ll be selling in the future.

“Hurricane impact windows are one of the best investments a coastal community property owner can make,” Darnell says. “Modern storm windows add value along with safety, peace of mind, energy savings, noise reduction and reduced insurance cost.”

Hurricane Shutters

Storm shutters cost just a fraction of the price of impact windows and also add safety and value. If your shutters are old, rusted or out of date, they will detract from your home’s appearance and may not withstand fierce hurricane winds. 

Impact Garage Door

If you think all garage doors are alike, think again. Some 80 percent of hurricane damage starts when wind blows in through the garage door. Wind-rated impact garage doors can protect against storm winds and debris damage and prevent a buildup of internal pressure that—unchecked—could even blow out the roof of your home.

Impact Screens

Since Floridians practically live in their lanais, screened porches and pool enclosures, protecting those spaces with impact screens offers another way to prepare for a major storm. Impact screens are transparent, lightweight and strong, and offer protection from wind-driven rain and flying debris.


Besides improving curb appeal, regular landscaping can provide an effective tool to boost storm safety. Prune trees and bushes surrounding your house, pick up loose palm fronds and coconuts and be sure to remove potential fallen limbs and trees that can hit the exterior of your home.

Simply by increasing the beauty of your outdoor space, you can improve its safety—and value. That’s a “win-wind” during hurricane season and all throughout the year.

Parental Resolution: Map Your Future


By Barbara Browned for Parenting Matters


One of my favorite parenting group activities is asking parents to imagine that it is 20 years into the future: “You are in a grocery store and meet the parent of a child your child went to kindergarten with 20 years ago. Both are now grown. The other parent asks about your child.” Then l ask parents: “What do you want to be able to say? What words do you want to be able to use to describe your child as an adult?”

Parents typically reply with a variety of touching and positive descriptors, from “independent” and “drug free” to “kind” and “healthy.” (In recent years, I frequently hear “not living at home” -followed by sympathetic chuckles!)

Continuing the exercise, I suggest to parents that they think of these qualities as their long-term parenting goals, and in order to accomplish them, their daily parenting behaviors need to focus on developing these traits. l ask them to think about “parenting with the end in mind” – to focus on what they want the end product of their parenting to be like and use that as a guide for their parenting strategies and methods.

Questions parents could ponder might be: “What do I value? How am I developing that trait in my child today?”

For example, if you want a responsible child, begin early to develop responsibility by allowing the child (even a young one) to “practice” by being allowed responsibility for chores, pet care, the condition of their own toys or rooms. They will need to take on more as they grow so they become comfortable with responsibility and good at it BEFORE they reach adulthood. (One thing for sure, no one magically becomes responsible at age 21!)

Another part to this is that a parent must also teach the results of irresponsibility by providing consequences and outcomes for undesired actions, and step back so kids experience those outcomes. If a child loses homework that was not put safely away, he must suffer the consequence. This is how learning takes place. If a parent bails the child out by writing an excuse or helping re-create the paper, what will the child learn about taking care of things?

“Parenting with the end in mind” challenges the thinking of the parent who wants an honest adult child but announces that 3-year-old Ryan is “2 when we go to the movies.”

Planning for the end of parenting also questions the effectiveness of the parent who values independence, but will not allow the child to have his own opinions or choice of friends, or values kindness while calling people names or mocking people.

Hopefully, the words you use to describe a “child of your dreams” today will, for the most part, describe your own grown-up child in the future (who is living where you want them to).

How I'm Raising a Confident, Independent Toddler

By Christina for Christina All Day

want my toddler Julianna to be responsible, confident, and independent. I’m not always there to help her in situations when she needs to stick up for herself or ask for something, so I’m teaching her how to do it herself now. It’s not always easy. It’s not always fun. Sometimes these lessons turn into major meltdowns, but I just keep reminding myself of the end goal.

Also, I want to make sure I am helping her and not enabling her. FYI – Helping is when you do something for someone who cannot do it herself and enabling is when you do something for someone who is very capable of doing it herself. The real world does not enable and it’s never too early to learn that. If not, when she gets older, she is going to be a real pain in the you know what to people around her. So, this is how I’m raising a confident, independent toddler… or trying to at least.

1) If she wants something, she will ask for it herself

This started at Publix with the cookies. (For those of you not in the South, Publix is our grocery store that hands out a free cookie to kids at the bakery.) As soon as she could put two words together, she would ask for one herself. “Cookie, please.” At first, she would say it quietly while looking down. Now, while standing and looking at the employee, she says loudly, “May I have a cookie please?” When we go to restaurants, she orders for herself too.

2) She can physically do things herself

It may take a hell of a lot longer this way, but I think it works. When she doesn’t think she can do things, then she does – the look at achievement on her face says it all. Sometimes she picks out her own outfit. Sometimes I do. Usually, I will leave her with it to dress herself and tell her if she needs any help to just ask me and I will help her. It’s the longest change of clothes you will ever witness, but she gets it done and she is proud of herself for doing it. When she struggles, she cries. That’s when I remind her to just ask for what she wants – help. She can get in her car seat and buckle herself in, go to the bathroom by herself (not in public obviously), brush her teeth on her own, and if she can haul all of her toys out of every nook and cranny they are shoved in, you better believe she can put them back.

3) She gives things to other little girls who need them

When she would watch me retire her old clothes, she would get upset. Then I explained to her she isn’t going to use them anymore and other people need them. She really grasped this concept when we gave some clothes and toys to another little girl who lost all of hers in a fire. This was a mixture of not only explaining, but letting her choose which toys she wanted to give away. I reminded her she was being very nice and doing such a good thing for someone else. (Then, she got a little crazy and started grabbing my things (like my car keys) to give away.) Now, she knows that if she wants more toys, we have to clean up some of what she already has and give them to other kids who would like them. There is no reason for her to have everything she has at her age, but I blame the grandparents.

4) I let her help me

Partly, because I need help, but more importantly – it makes her feel valued when she helps me… even if it isn’t really all that helpful. When we go grocery shopping, I will have her hold my list or grab something for me. I will ask her to bring me a napkin or tell her I need her to help me plant flowers to make the backyard look beautiful. This makes her feel important and that her help is valuable.

5) I talk to her about feelings, like an adult

This is how we handle tantrums in general. Kids cry and throw fits because that’s how they communicate. Sometimes, I ignore it. Hey, a three-year-old doesn’t always want to talk about her feelings, and sometimes they just want attention… and that does not get my attention. (Well, it does. I just pretend it doesn’t.) Instead, if we sit down and talk, I think it makes her feel like an “important adult” because it’s what she sees us do. She will know we are listening and paying attention to her when her behavior warrants it – in a “talk about your feelings” atmosphere. That’s what gets attention, so that’s how she will behave. Eventually. Hopefully.

5 Things to Love about the Palm Beach Zoo


By Christina for Christina All Day

When my parents from Ohio visit, I’m always on the hunt to find some family friendly activities we can do outside. Spending the day at the Palm Beach Zoo is a no brainer!

Not only did we have so much fun, but I was pretty impressed with a few things the zoo had to offer.

1. The Palm Beach Zoo layout

For a person who likes to be efficient, there is no better design. As soon as you walk in, there is a fountain for kids to play in the center, then all around the fountain, are what I call petals to a flower. Each one is so easy to navigate, making it possible to visit the four sections of the zoo without overlapping, backtracking, or missing a thing!

2. The cleanliness at the Palm Beach Zoo

You’d think a place full of animals and people would be dirty… but it’s not! This place is as clean as Disney World. I was really impressed with how nice, new, and neat everything looked! It was so easy to find a place to sit and watch the monkeys… or in Landon’s case, read about a bear named Corduroy.

3. The other stuff at the Palm Beach Zoo

Yes, the animals are great, but my kids love a carousel and train ride too! It’s nice to take a break and do something else. This little area in the Florida section by the American flamingos and Mardi the white alligator is perfect!

4. The food at the Palm Beach Zoo

Remember when I mentioned how great the layout of the zoo was?

Well, Tropic Cafe and Concessions is located very conveniently halfway through your zoo visit – whether you walk in and start to the right or the left. When you’ve reached the halfway point, you will have lots of options for food.

This area looks so nice too. The decor reminds me of Hollywood Studios at Disney World.

5. The animals at the Palm Beach Zoo

After all, that’s why we visit!

3 Romantic Places to Propose in the Caribbean


By Kara Franker for

Already have the sweetheart and the ring? Discover three unique sites in the Caribbean for an unforgettable proposal.

Whether on a secluded island, magical colonial city or stunning rooftop bar, finding the best places to propose is as easy as making plans for a romantic Caribbean getaway.


When it comes to combining romance with a thrilling experience, 2,800 feet above sea level is the perfect place to bend the knee and pop the question. Offering dramatic seascapes and recognized as the highest peak in St. Kitts, Mount Liamuiga’s rugged hiking adventure offers unparalleled scenic opportunities packed with enough passion to pretty much guarantee the right answer. Guided tours to the summit are readily available starting from Belmont Estate in St. Pauls. After a day of unforgettable exploration, renew your body and mind at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino spa, offering luxurious couple massages, facials and more. Or experience a homelike stay in one of the resort’s spacious rooms and suites, many of which provide captivating beach views.

If you go: Rooms at St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino start at $359 per night and Mount Liamuiga Volcano hike starts at $90 per adult


How about proposing to that special someone while surrounded by colorful coral reefs and pink flamingos? Courtyard by Marriott Bonaire is a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Center catering to divers of every skill level. With the resort’s expert staff, travelers are just a door step away from their unlimited Bonaire diving adventure. Bonaire’s warm turquoise waters are ideal for an underwater marriage proposal. From making custom marriage proposal signs to coordinating the logistics of a truly wonderful experience surprise, the resort’s professional dive team can assist with creating the perfect scenario for an underwater engagement.

If you go: A Dive certification is not required to participate, short classroom sessions are offered for first time divers with a PADI Dive Professional. Rooms at Courtyard by Marriott Bonaire start at $161 per night and the Discover Scuba Dive private experience is $240.


Travelers wanting to step outside the box and surprise their loved one with an exclusive marriage proposal must consider scenery, ambiance and the element of surprise. Vertygo 101 Lounge & Bar, JW Marriott Hotel Santo Domingo’s trendiest bar, sits 101 feet above the bustling Winston Churchill Avenue, and has it all, from a professional concierge who can arrange any details—stunning flowers, the perfect wine, the most private table—to the best city skyline and sunset for getting down on one knee against the orange hues rising above the horizon. If there is a perfect city to find a romantic spot, it is Santo Domingo offering white-sand beaches, a charming colonial zone and delicious food.

If you go: Rooms at JW Marriott Hotel Santo Domingo start at $239 per night and a bottle of Dom Perignon Brut Champagne is $520.

Most Common Parenting Mistakes


By Mike Leary for Fatherly

I have seen so many good intentions go horribly wrong over the years that can result in self-harm, suicide and, in extreme cases, even murder. Here are some of the most common mistakes that can be really harmful to kids.

1. Giving Them Too Many Choices
Many parents think children always should have endless choices, when the reality is kids can be overwhelmed if they’re always given so many options.

2. Praising Them For Everything They Do
It’s very common now to see kids who are almost junkies for praise. They won’t do anything unless there is a payoff for them.

3. Trying To Make The Child Happy
Their job is to learn to make themselves happy, and you can never force a child to be happy.

4. Overindulging Them
They will almost always end up believing acquisitions lead to happiness. This sets up chasing the never-satisfying carrots, and can result in addictions and compulsions.

5. Keeping Them Too Busy
Most commonly with sports. Many parents wrongly believe “activities” will keep their kid out of trouble, but often times this will lead to the child being burned out or even becoming a bully.

6. Thinking Smart Will Save Them
It can be tempting for parents to promote smart as the end-all-be-all. Yet this can lead to a child becoming arrogant, thinking everyone else is stupid or secretly believe that they have to put on an act and are a fraud. As a result, nobody likes them.

7. Thinking A Strict Religion Will Give Them Perfect Values And Save Them
The first time they see hypocrisy in their parents or the touted beloved leaders, the house of cards start to fall.

8. Withholding Common Information About Important Topics — Like Sex
Many parents are terrified of talking about sex, and believe avoiding discussing it with their children will save them. But I’ve seen 13-year-old girls get pregnant, sometimes just to flaunt it at their parents.

9. Being Hyper-Critical Of The Child’s Mistakes
It can be easy to assume intense scrutiny promotes success and makes kids better. But kids raised this way are driven to perfection in everything from looks, likability, sports, smarts, or you name it. When a mistake happens, they are worthless as a human being and start getting so angry that in some cases they will resort to self-harm even to the point of suicide.

10. Using Shame, Shunning, Or Threats
Never imply that there is a chance you might not love your child due to their actions, as some parents do so in order to get their kids to achieve compliance. It is a short term gain with abandonment lurking in the shadows. Then the child doesn’t care either.

11. Making Kids Do Things Inappropriate For Their Age
I have 3 patients right now who, by age 4, were having to feed themselves and or had to be in charge of a sibling also. I’ve seen many who didn’t have children of their own because as they all said; “I raised my family.”

12. Not Limiting Screen Time
Whether it’s TV, video, games, phone or texting. I know a family where the mom and teenage son text each other constantly and no one else can get into their relationship link.

13. Not Letting Kids Get Bored
Some parents think children are supposed to be stimulated at all times and it’s their job to avoid boredom. Then kids don’t learn to be creative and find the way out of boredom in themselves.

14. Protecting Kids From Their Own Consequences And Loss
I see parents with good intentions get their kids everything, from a simple toy to buying them out of legal trouble, and suddenly are surprised when the child respects nothing. All of us need to learn losing is just another way to gain wisdom and experience about what not to do.

15. Not Letting Kids Play Dangerously
The Forest Kindergarten schools have shown the children get sick less, are more well adjusted and also get along better than their regulated indoor peers.

16. Not Debriefing Kids At Bed Time
“What happened today?” Children sleep better and feel loved when the parent shows an interest in what happened that was significant to them in their own lives.

17. Not Reading To Very Young Children
Reading requires the child to be still, be quiet, and use their imagination. All the things videos don’t. It prepares them for listening in school and being able to use their imagination for creativity and alternatives as a resource.

18. Pulling Pacifiers Too Soon
Parents know the pacifier is an outward symbol of insecurity, so they tend to take it away as soon as they can, instead of getting the child secure where it would drop-out naturally. I have adult patients who secretly suck their thumbs.

19. Not Regulating Food
And especially inquiring: “Are you full?” When this happens, typically your kid will load the plate again. That is an old survival program from our heritage as scarcity, when food was not available. Kids then chase a full-filled sensation, not understanding each time you fill yourself, your stomach adapts to that as normal and expands.

20. Spanking Children Older Than 5
Parents think it will teach them to be good, but using corporal punishment never works as well as love. I see all kinds of patients where the concept of ‘Spare the rod-spoil the child’ was anything but. No spoiling, just oppositional, angry, bullying, deceiving, fearful or performing automatons.



By Ben Olive for Florida Luxurious Properties

 As the sun rose over the Atlantic this morning, I was reminded of why I love Fort Lauderdale so much.The early light was magical, glinting off a perfectly flat ocean, the tiny rays of light shining like diamonds. Then, as the sun grew stronger and warmer it bathed the beach, the world around me awakened.   A soft breeze was blowing in off the ocean, and the palm fronds swayed gently, the shimmering light bouncing off them. After a cup of very good coffee, I was ready to greet the day, here in our paradise.  And I got to thinking about…

Ten Things I Love About Fort Lauderdale

 10 –Location! 
My town is very accessible, with a great international airport, an executive airport for private aircraft, rail service, and of course, excellent access by sea.  With Miami to the south and Palm Beach to the north, we are at the center of South Florida life.

 9 – This is a dynamic, multi-cultural environment. 
Our population has a wide variety of interests.  We have an outstanding Museum of Art, a world-class performing arts center, a beautiful pubic library, and a music and arts calendar that is full year-round.

 8 – The Food! 
Every continent on the planet is represented. International cuisine from Asia, Europe, Central and South America, Africa and the islands, plus trendy steakhouses and great pubs offer some of the most varied dining anywhere.  Check out the menus at Chima Steakhouse, The Boatyard, or Louie Bossi’s.  Good food.

 7 – The wide variety of architectural styles! 
There are rambling Victorian homes, picturesque ranch-style residences, and two-story custom estates in every mode.  Sleek, modern architecture lives side by-side with Mission, Mediterranean, Key West and British West Indies-style inspired architecture. There really is something for every taste.  If you’re building new or renovating, you’ll want to meet with Bomar Builders.  Ready to decorate?  See Rosana Fleming, a great interior designer.

 6 – Our parks and landscape is fabulous! 
With exotic flowers, more than 1500 varieties of palm, live oak, ficus, banyans draped with Spanish moss, Royal Poinciana and Jacaranda trees, Fort Lauderdale is a lush eden. The Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway is an oasis of tropical hammocks, and hosts the Bonnet House Museum.  The Riverwalk Linear Park is well lighted, with winding walkways and picnic spots on the waterfront.

 5 – Fishing, swimming, diving, surfing—all here! 
Like to boat?  There are miles of waterways to navigate. Tennis, anyone?  Check.  Golf courses, bike paths--the list goes on.

 4 – Our diverse society – everyone is represented--young, old, singles, couples and families. 
The population is ethnically, socially, and culturally diverse—all are welcome in the mosaic that is Fort Lauderdale. 

3 – We have options! 
What kind of home do you want?  A luxury beachfront like 2924 North Atlantic Boulevard, or maybe a waterfront residence?  Perhaps a riverfront or golf course residence like The Enclave at Coral Ridge Country Club.  How about a stunning condominium offering spectacular vistas and fabulous amenities like 80 Hendricks Isle?  There is also a rapidly expanding choice of downtown residences, walking distance to day and nightlife activities.

2 – The weather!
How about 246 days of sunshine, an average high of 83.3 and an average low of 67.8 degrees—sweet!   Non-stop opportunity to get out and have fun! 

1 – Water, water, everywhere! 
We have the world-class Fort Lauderdale beach, the Intracoastal Waterway, lakes, rivers, and miles of the best deep-water canals on the eastern seaboard.

Caribbean Cruises from Florida: Things to do before and after

The wonderful list of tips and resources below courtesy of  Pedal Goa

Cruising from Florida offers you all sorts of opportunities for a Caribbean cruise.

As if deciding which cruise ports in the Caribbean you want to pick isn’t enough decision making (Puerto RicoCozumelBahamas… to start. 😉 ), there are a few more things you may want to look at.

One of the things you might look at in choosing a cruise from Florida is how to get from the airport to the cruise port.

You may also want to check what some things to do near the cruise port are so you can spend a few extra days in Florida before or after your cruise.

And… you may want to find some hotels near the cruise port!

And so, on this page is a list of:

  • How far the airport is from the cruise ports of different cruises from Florida
  • Things to do before or after your cruise
  • Hotel alternatives before or after your cruise
  • Cruise lines out of Florida

Flying into Florida a few days before your cruise

If you’re flying to catch your cruise, arriving a day or two earlier can help to ease the stress and give you a chance to relax before your cruise begins.

This is especially true if you’re going on a cruise coming from the north and taking a winter cruise. You can’t predict when a snow storm will hit. For a summer cruise, it could be thunderstorms.

And when one major city’s airport has flights that are affected, it could have a ripple effect across the country. This means that even if your home airport has no signs of blizzard conditions or severe weather, your flight could be affected.

And if your cruise starts on the same day you’re set to fly in, that could be cause for some major stress! (This is also one of the reasons you may want to consider cruise insurance!)

Alternative to finding hotels near your Florida cruise port

Whether you’re driving or flying to the cruise port, if you’re staying in Florida for a few days to explore, that’s when staying in an airbnb home instead of a hotel can be even more worth it!

Not only is there a good chance that you’ll save a few dollars over hotels with prime real estate in the big cities, an airbnb can provide a more localized experience while giving you a more “home-away-from-home” feeling with a bunch of amenities you don’t get from a hotel.

It also can be a good way to stay in a really good location for a really good price! (Think beachfront without having to pay top beachfront hotel prices like these home-like stays!) You may be able to even find an airbnb home that rents out a whole house for the price of a hotel room.

Have a look at airbnbs near your cruise port!

Cruising from Florida

Included in the sections below are also links of things to do in each of the cities to help you further decide (or further complicate your decision 😉 ) which cruise port in Florida you want to start off your Caribbean cruise!

Port Miami: Miami cruises, South Florida

Distance from Miami airport to Port Miami: 10 miles / 20 minutes

Distance from Fort Lauderdale airport to Port Miami: 30 miles / 45 minutes

Miami and Fort Lauderdale are about 30 miles apart.

The Everglades National Park covers much of the tip of South Florida, and it can make a good add-on cruise excursion when you have a cruise from Miami.

Miami hotels with free shuttle to the cruise port

Things to do in Miami

Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Things to do at Everglades National Park

Unique experiences in Miami

Miami airbnb homes

Port Everglades: Fort Lauderdale cruises, South Florida

Distance from Miami airport to the Port Everglades: 30 miles / 45 minutes

Distance from Fort Lauderdale airport to Port Everglades: 4 miles / 15 minutes

Once again, since the Everglades National Park covers South Florida, it can be a good add-on cruise excursion when you have a cruise from Fort Lauderdale.

Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Things to do in Miami

Things to do at Everglades National Park

Fort Lauderdale airbnb homes

Port Canaveral: Orlando cruises, Central Florida

Distance from Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral: 45 miles / 40 minutes

As if a cruise isn’t enough fun on its own 😉 if you’re taking a cruise with kids, you may want to tack on a few days to your vacation at Disney World before or after the cruise. The Disney World resort is about 20 miles from the Orlando airport. Here are tips and ideas to think about which side of the cruise to head there, before or after!

Things to do in Orlando

Things to do at Disney World

Orlando airbnb homes

Port Tampa: Tampa cruises, West Central Florida

Distance from Tampa Airport to Port Tampa: 8 miles / 15 minutes

Disney World is 70 miles from Port Tampa.

Things to do in Tampa Bay

Things to do in Clearwater

Tampa airbnb homes

Jaxport Cruise Terminal: Jacksonville cruises, Northeastern Florida

Distance from Jacksonville Airport to Jaxport Cruise Terminal: 12 miles / 25 minutes

St. Augustine is about 45 miles from the Jaxport Cruise Terminal.

Things to do in Jacksonville

Things to do in St. Augustine

Jacksonville airbnb homes

Cruise lines out of Florida

Florida serves as one of the major hubs for cruises to the Caribbean, cruises to the Bahamas, and cruises to Bermuda.

As a result, all of the major cruise lines that operate Caribbean cruises have cruises out of Florida.

This includes:

  • Carnival Cruise Line | search the caribbean
  • Royal Caribbean | search the caribbean
  • Norwegian Cruise Line | search the caribbean
  • Disney Cruise Line | search the caribbean
  • Princess Cruises | search the caribbean
  • Celebrity Cruises | search the caribbean
  • Holland America | search the caribbean