“Scrumptious Sunday” and “Vodka Day” Have Collided!

What do you do when “Scrumptious Sunday” and “Vodka Day” happen on the same day? You make a tasty vodka drink to celebrate, of course. Boca Grove’s Assistant Director of Food and Beverage Carla Hull helped us all out with a recipe for a Spiked Arnold Palmer.

Spiked Arnold Palmer Ingredients:spiked arnold palmer

1 oz. Firefly Ice Tea Vodka

2 oz. Lemonade

1 oz. Ice Tea Sweetened

2 freshly squeezed lemon wedges



Mix all the ingredients in a pitcher and leave the lemon wedges in it.
Pour over ice in a glass of your choosing.

Grab this golf course classic with a twist for an afternoon refreshment!

October is “National Roller Skating Month”! Best Way to Celebrate is on “Fit Friday”!

roller skatesRoller skating isn’t just for little girls in pig-tails, or tough ladies in roller derby. It is for anyone looking for a fun way to get fit! Here are 10 health benefits of Roller Skating from healthfitnessrevolution.com.

  1. Easy on the joints: Skating allows for fluid motion to keep you from damaging your joints. It allows you to enjoy the same movements as running and dancing without the harsh impact. “According to a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts, skating causes less than 50 percent of the impact shock to joints compared to running.” Therefore, an aerobic roller skating workout has the same benefits of jogging but without the joint damage.
  2. Great as a cross training exercise: Roller skating is equal to jogging in the way of health benefits and caloric consumption, the reduction of body fat, and leg strength development. It is great for athletes who are looking for something to do in the off-season.
  3. Calorie burning (fat burning): “An average-sized man who weighs around 190 pounds can expect to burn about 10 calories each minute of roller skating, while an average-sized woman weighing 163 pounds can expect to burn about 9 calories per minute.” If you roller skate for an hour those calories can add up fast!
  4. Good for your mood: When you put music, the outside, the health benefits and fun together when roller skating it is an automatic mood booster.
  5. Works the arms and legs: Your legs and glutes are worked through the lower body movement, while your arms and core get a workout while you keep your body balanced.
  6. Great for improving balance, agility and coordination: When roller skating you are helping improve your balance by strengthening your abdomen and lower back muscles that are helping you stay upright. By coordinating your balance and leg movement you are improving your coordination.
  7. Strengthen the heart: Roller skating is recognized by the American Heart Association as an effective aerobic exercise that helps strengthen the heart. A university research study that was conducted found that “moderate roller skating increases a skater’s heart rate to levels ranging from 140 to 160 beats per minute, while skating at top speeds can increase heart rate up to around 180 beats per minute.”
  8. Improve endurance: You can increase your muscle endurance by roller skating. When skating try and add some incline portions, or speed increases to help train your muscles and cardiovascular system  to use your body’s energy more efficiently. This will allow you to increase your skating distance, as well as improve your time in other activities.
  9. Can be done anywhere: You can roller skate pretty much anywhere there is a flat surface. Keep it social at a skating rink or a local park, or go on your own through your neighborhood streets or sidewalks.
  10. Social: Roller skating can be a very social activity and human interaction is good for your health too!


For this “Fit Friday” go in your closet and dust off those roller skates that have been sitting in the back, tie them on and go for a ride. You may remember the fun you had as that pig-tailed little girl or freckled-face little boy.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Starts Today! Help Save the Tata’s!!

october-pinkEvery October 1st marks the beginning of a month of pink everywhere, you even see it on rough and tough professional football players. However, there is so much more to the month than just the color pink…

What is the purpose of Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

BreastcancerrotatorThis month is the opportunity to spread the word about steps women can take to detect breast cancer early. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S. It is estimated that in 2015 there will be 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer, 60,290 new cases of in situ breast cancer, and 40,290 breast cancer deaths in just U.S. women alone.

What can we/you do?

The best thing is early detection. Women of all ages should do monthly self-breast exams. Women ages 40 to 49 need to make it a point to talk with their doctor on when to start getting mammograms, and women from 50 to 74 should get mammograms every 2 years. Knowledge is power and you are the best person to know your body and notice if there are changes in it.breast_cancer_awareness_dtw_by_xxxbleeding_angelxxx-d4bc780

What are the risk factors?

Some risk factors you can change, and some you can’t. Also remember just because you have one or more of these risks below doesn’t mean you are destined for breast cancer, or that if you don’t have any of the risks that you are in the free and clear – anyone can get breast cancer, even men.

  • Menstruation risk factors: Starting your period before the age of 12 and starting menopause after the age of 55.
  • Motherhood risk factors: Having children after the age of 35, never having children, not breastfeeding your babies.
  • Hormone risk factors: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can increase your risk for breast cancer and can cause “dense breasts” increasing your risk for breast cancer and making it harder for a mammogram to find cancer.
  • Lifestyle risk factors: These factors help reduce your chances – at least 4 hours of exercise each week, maintaining a healthy weight (especially after menopause), and limiting alcoholic drinks to one per day.
  • Family History and Genetic risk factors: Relatives with breast cancer or ovarian cancer at a young age and changes in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes related to breast cancer.
  • Other risk factors: Getting older, radiation treatment to the chest area, past history of breast cancer or other breast problems.

What is Breast Cancer?

Cells in your body divide every day. Their normal routine is to grow and die in an orderly manner when this doesn’t happen is when we run in to problems. When cells in the breast tissue grow and divide without normal control they cause the disease breast cancer. Abnormal growth of cells ends up forming masses or lumps that are most commonly referred to as tumors. Tumors can either be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Tumors found in the breast tend to grow slowly. A tumor, before it is big enough to be found, could have been growing for 10 years.

What are the symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Everyone is different and therefore your warning symptoms may differ from others. Some people may not have any symptoms at all. They discover they have breast cancer through their routine mammogram. Please remember that some of the signs below can occur with other conditions that are not breast cancer. However, if you have any of the signs and are worried (again, you know your body the best) see your doctor.

Some warning signs of breast cancer:

  • A new lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
  • Any changes in the size or shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast.

What kind of treatments are there?

The goal of treatment is to get rid of the cancer and keep it from coming back. Treatment is based on medical and personal choices. Treatment for breast cancer can include a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy. It is tailored the type of breast cancer you have, the stage the cancer is in, your overall health, age and medical issues, and your personal preference.

There are two areas of treatment in breast cancer: local therapy and systematic therapy.

  • Local therapy removes the cancer from a local area, like the breast, chest wall or lymph nodes in the underarm area. It helps ensure the cancer does not return to the area, involves surgery and can be paired with or without radiation.
  • Systematic Therapy works to get rid of cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body from the breast. It systematically uses drug therapies that travel through the body to get rid of the cancerous cells. This therapy includes chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy; and is used in conjunction with surgery.

pink ribbonThe number of survival rates has increased exponentially since the 1990’s in thanks to the progress in treatments and the education for early detection. If you are a survivor, know a survivor or are currently fighting the battle – this month is a time to celebrate, educate and support the tatas!

*All information gathered for this blog came from the CDC, Susan G. Komen and the National Health Information websites.

Tips for Being a Good Neighbor!

good neighbor logoToday is “National Good Neighbor Day” and with that being said here are 14 tips from WikiHow.com on how to be a good neighbor.

1. Introduce yourself.
Whether you are new or your neighbor is – introduce yourself. Say hello and give a small welcoming gift (home baked goods never fail). If you are new to the area ask about a favorite restaurant or when the trash gets picked up. If you are the local offer that information before the newbie asks.

2. Be considerate of your neighbors’ lifestyle.
Get to know your neighbors in a sense of what do they do for a living or what their schedules are like, and share with them yours. This way you can try to remedy any time problems that could occur. For instance if they work nights, try and be quiet in the morning. If you work early mornings let them know so they can be considerate at night. Knowing these things early can help keep the peace later.

3. Be aware of shared walls.
This is really important if you are in a condo, apartment, town home or any other dwelling that you and a neighbor may share walls. Try and keep any loud appliances away from adjoining walls if possible, such as a television, stereo, or washer and dryer. If you live above someone putting something under the appliance like a rug or rubber mat will help defer the noise.

4. Control your pets.
Not everyone is a dog lover like yourself. If your dog has a tendency to wander, keep them on a leash until the neighbor is comfortable. Also make sure to clean up after them if they happen to mess in their yard. If the dog is a barker, do what you can to keep it to a minimum. You don’t want this causing problems with your neighbor. A dog’s bark who wakes someone or overpowers the noises in their house can cause bitterness.

5. Practice parking etiquette.
Make sure that when you park your car you are not blocking their way of getting in or out of their parking area. Make sure to keep the vehicle noise down when it is late at night or early in the morning. Also try to avoid shining headlights in their windows at late hours. Always park in front of your home, not theirs.

6. Alert your neighbor when you are having a party.
If you are planning a party, give your neighbor a heads up. Let them know when it will start and how long you expect it to go. Give them your phone number so if the noise starts to get too much they can call you instead of law enforcement. If you get along with your neighbors, invite them to the party!

7. Keep your lawn and garden tidy.
Weed your garden regularly, because not only can they be unsightly they can also spread to your neighbor’s yard. The same goes for mowing your yard – do it regularly. Keep flowers, trees and bushes maintained as well. Before spraying pesticides on your lawn make sure your neighbor does not have a problem with it. Always put your lawn equipment away once you are done. If anything, keeping your lawn nice may help your neighbors do the same.

8. Control your barbecue, bonfire or backyard fire.
Try and position them where smoke and smell will not directly blow onto their property. This falls in line with the party step, notification is always helpful.

9. Put your garbage and lawn clippings out on the right days.
Only put your trash out on the day or night before it is to be collected. Make sure to bring in the cans as soon as you are able to. If you share a trash area, try and keep your area as clean as possible. Also as your garbage cans begin to smell wash them out.

10. Communicate with your neighbor.
Touch base with your neighbors regularly and keep them in the loop. Keep your channels of communication open so that if anything is bothering them they feel comfortable reaching out to you, and vice versa.

11. Be aware of your surroundings, and theirs.
Whether you are in a “neighborhood watch” community or not, keeping an eye out for unknown people acting suspiciously around you or your neighbor’s property will help keep your area safe. When in doubt call the local authorities to help keep any criminal activity at bay.

12. Offer a helping hand.
Offer to pet site while they are out of town, include them in a garage sale you are having, or invite them over for a bite to eat. They will do the same for you in return.

13. Share neighborhood news.
Whether it be good or bad give them a heads up. Let them know of events, crimes, special events or anything else that may be going on that they may not be aware of.

14. Be nice to your neighbor.
Even if you don’t want to be best of friends with your neighbor, being nice can go a long way to make living in your home a little more enjoyable.

good neighborBeing nice to your neighbor will in turn make them nice to you. Happy “National Good Neighbor Day” today and every day! “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

The First Day of Fall Calls for a Delicious New Fall Drink!

The first day of fall is the start of all things apple and golden, especially when it comes to caramel apples. Boca Grove’s Assistant Director of Food and Beverage Carla Hull brought us fall in a glass, a Caramel Apple Martini.

carmel apple martiniCaramel Apple Martini Ingredients:

1 oz. Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka

1 oz. Van Gogh Wild Apple Vodka

1 oz. Apple Juice



Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker.

Shake and strain into a martini glass with a brown sugar rim and an apple slice garnish.

carmel applet martini wide

It is a liquid caramel apple to “fall” in love with!

Tips to Keep Your Smallest Passenger Safe!

child passanger seatsIn honor of Child Passenger Safety week that started yesterday, September 13, and ends on Saturday, September 19, here are four important tips to keep handy when transporting children in a car.

Step 1 – Rear-Facing Seats:

The best possible way to keep infants protected in the car is in rear-facing child safety seats that are in the back seat for as long as possible. Rear-facing seats should be used up to the height and weight limit on the particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until a minimum age of 1 and at least 20 pounds. Most pediatrician offices recommend children stay in rear-facing seats until the age of 2.

Step 2 – Forward-Facing Seats:

Once children outgrow their rear-facing seats they should move to forward-facing child safety seats that are in the back seat until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).

Step 3 – Booster Seat:

Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat until the vehicle seat belts fit properly (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9” tall). As of January 1, 2015 Florida law changed to require that children aged 4 and 5 must be restrained in a child safety seat or a booster seat. They are no longer allowed to just be restrained by a lap belt unless getting a ride from someone not in the immediate family as a favor, riding in an emergency vehicle or has a medical documented condition.

Step 4 – Seat Belts:

When children outgrow their booster seats, they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat, if and only if it fits properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest.

Child safety seats by age.

Keeping kids safe in vehicles is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4.

Happy Labor Day!! An End of Summer Recipe Just for You!

IMG_6932Labor Day signifies that summer is coming to an end. Here is a recipe just for the occasion by Boca Grove’s Executive Sous Chef Tony Mancuso, a Grilled Herb Marinated Shrimp, Watermelon & Pickled Watermelon Rind Salad with Lemon Black Pepper Vinaigrette, arugula, berries, Parmesan cheese and balsamic syrup salad that serves four.


4 cups arugula

2 cups diced watermelon

1 cup pickled watermelon rind (recipe below)

4 oz shaved Parmesan cheese

2 cups fresh berries


As needed – Lemon Black Pepper dressing (recipe below).

As needed – balsamic vinegar reduction.

16 each shrimp, marinated in oil and fresh chopped herbs.

To plate:IMG_6925

Place arugula, watermelon, pickled rind, cheese and berries. Drizzle with dressing and syrup. Grill shrimp and place it around the salad.

Black Pepper Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette


¼ cup lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp Guldens Spicy Brown Mustard

1 tsp shallot, minced

1 cup salad oil

1 tbls fresh ground coarse black pepper

Pinch of sugar


Combine shallot, mustards and lemon juice, slowly whisk in oil. Add pepper and sugar.

Pickled Watermelon Rind


1 qt water

1 cup sugar

1 cup white vinegar

1 tsp pickling spice

3 tbls kosher salt

1 vanilla bean

2 lb watermelon rind, cut into medium cubes


Bring water and all ingredients to a boil for 30 minutes. Strain liquid and add rind and return to stove. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes until tender. Chill rind and liquid and reserve.

It is light, fresh and a delicious way to end the summer!