My eye opening visit to the local library

wlandolakesI am in a book club and when I went to the bookstore recently they didn’t have my assigned book for May in stock.  I could easily go home and order it on Amazon but that meant waiting two whole days for it to arrive!  I wasn’t sure I could wait that long, I’m an immediate gratification kind of girl!  On my way home I decided to make an impulse trip to the Land O’ Lakes public library to look for the book, and boy have things changed.

I haven’t visited any library regularly since my children were young, I had no idea they offered so many things to do for adults and children.  They are currently holding a book sale offered by Friends of the Library.  Scheduled activities for the month of May include Yoga, Canasta and Mahjong sessions, reading time for all ages of children, and various club meetings.

But the coolest thing they have is the Foundry where they teach all kinds of fun activities, crafts and more.  These activities are geared towards older kids and adults.  Current classes include sewing, intro to knitting and crochet, making a pom pom rug and woodworking.

If you are looking for fun activities for the summer I urge you to check out your local library.  And yes, they did have the book I needed on the shelf.

Here is a link to the Land O’ Lakes library’s schedule, and I am sure your local library has similar offerings as well .

Kelly Harden Realtor®, GRI

Century 21 Affiliated



My time with Veronica Ortiz from Bella Furniture and Redesign

table and shelvesRecently I met a wonderful woman, Veronica Ortiz, who owns Bella Furniture and Redesign.   She and her husband Greg take the old wooden furniture you have and turn it into something completely different and new again or, if you prefer, they can make you something from scratch.  Her imagination appears to be endless.

We met at Veronica’s home because she displays many of her own works there.  As you wander around her space it is clear Veronica is a woman who loves what she does and takes pride in her work.

The top photo shows Veronica’s Industrial styling with custom built shelving installed on a stainless-steel wall.  The dining table has a stainless-steel top as well.

One of my favorite pieces is an extra-long console table complete with complimentary wall art she designed as well.  The console is in the farmhouse style so popular today, heavily distressed with a white crackle finish.

console table and wall art

Many Floridians have friends and family in various northern states who love to visit and experience everything Florida has to offer.  What do you do when you run out of sleeping space for them?  Veronica solved this problem by building a custom designed Murphy Bed in the home office creating a dual use for the space.

Are you looking for a special piece to create a statement in your space?  Or is it time to redo the entire room?  If you want something special call Veronica Ortiz at Bella Furniture and Redesign, 813-960-7485.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates



Anderson Chhabra Eyecare Center and my new specs

I am now the very proud owner of a pair of Jimmy Choo’s!  Ok, it’s not a pair of his fabulous shoes (I can’t justify spending several hundred dollars on a pair of shoes, not matter how fabulous they look) but I did splurge and ordered his glasses!  I think I’m in love!


It was time for my eye exam and my regular eye doctor moved to another location further away so this seemed like the perfect time to find a new doctor.  Yes, the eye wear selection they have there is very unique but I decided I wanted to find a place closer to home.  If the new place didn’t offer a great selection of frames I could always go back downtown to my regular shop.

After careful research (with the help of my friend Google) I found Anderson & Chhabra Eyecare Center in north Tampa off of Fletcher.

I was very pleased with my experience there.  Setting the appointment with my crazy schedule was a breeze, I even had to reschedule on them and the were wonderful.  On the day of my appointment I didn’t have to wait long to be seen and the doctor was very thorough and made me feel at ease.

Selecting the glasses was the fun part of course.  They have so many brands to choose from- Carolina Herrera, Kenzie, Coach, Guess, Tom Ford, Prada, Jimmy Choo, Fendi, Michael Kors, Careera and many more!

I fell in love with two pair of Jimmy Choo’s and almost bought them both, but decided on the ones pictured above because a terrific pair of Fendi sunglasses were calling my name!

If you are wanting to change eye doctors this is where I would send you!

Kelly Harden, Realtor®, GRI

Century 21 Affiliated Avila



Time for Breakfast at the Breakfast Nook

The Breakfast Nook

Lately Buddy and I have been celebrating our birthdays by going out to breakfast.  We celebrated Buddy’s on Friday by dining at the Breakfast Nook in Lutz.

I’ve always heard great things about the Breakfast Nook, but for some reason we had never taken the time to go there.  It’s a seat yourself restaurant, we chose a pub table near the back with a good view of the front door.  You can also eat outside if you prefer.  I could not believe how many people kept coming in to eat!

Our waitress was very friendly, attentive and quick.  We each ordered eggs, mine with pancakes and his with biscuits and sausage gravy.  It didn’t take long before our food arrived and it was tasty.  The biggest surprise was when the bill arrived, I can’t remember ever spending that little for the two of us to eat.

Next time you want someone else to do the cooking give them a try!  They serve breakfast and lunch 7 days a week from 6 am to 2 pm.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Century 21 Affiliated, Tampa Bay


Bexley, and one of our first days in our home

Newland Communities is building Bexley, a beautiful new community behind my home.  For now our new neighbors are trucks and builders, but that wasn’t always the case.

I will never forget how I first “met” the neighbors when Buddy and I moved to Ballantrae eleven years ago.  We were one of the first residents in our section of the community and when we first moved in most of the homes were still under construction.

Early on one of our first mornings in our new home just before the sun came up I took our dog Dolly for a quick potty walk.  I kept hearing this strange noise, a loud EEERRRRRR sound.  Dolly and I looked at each other perplexed, we had never heard anything like that before.

We quickly go home and once safely inside the house I tell my husband I’m not sure what it is but there is some kind of animal outside making a very strange noise.  Buddy quickly goes outside to see if he can hear what is making this strange noise I heard.  After a minute he comes back inside, looks at me very lovingly and says “Honey, those are cows!” all the while trying to control his laughter!

I don’t know about you, but I had played with one of those Fisher Price See in Say toys before and I know that the cow goes MOO!!!  The toy was wrong, hungry cows go EEERRRRRR!  

The new Bexley community and elementary school used to be pasture land and for almost 10 years our nearby neighbors were cows.  Bexley is now filled with beautiful homes, parks and trails but I must admit sometimes I miss my cow neighbors.

Image result for hungry cows

Kelly Harden, Realtor®, GRI

Century 21 Affiliated, Tampa Bay


Visit the Florida Manatees in Apollo Beach

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Winter has come to the Tampa Bay area and that means it’s time to visit the manatees!

Every year when the temperature drops below 68 degrees the manatees come to the TECO Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach to keep warm.  The power plant takes salt water in from the gulf and uses it to cool the power plant.  The warm water is then discharged into the canal and the manatees know it.  They come here every winter to keep warm.

TECO has built a fantastic viewing center where you can see the manatees up close.  There is also an education center where visitors can learn more about the beautiful creatures.

It’s a great place to visit and take out of town guests.  They are open most days from November 1 to April 15 from 10 am to 5 pm.  Here is a link to their site if you are interested in visiting

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Kelly Harden, Realtor®, GRI

Century 21 Affiliated, Tampa Bay



Fall Commencement at Florida State


This weekend we had the honor and the privilege of seeing my youngest son Brent graduate from Florida State University.  He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting and soon will be attending grad school at Florida State as well.

I’ve always enjoyed visiting the beautiful campus but of course this time was extra special.  The ceremony was held at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.  It was the perfect venue, comfortable cushioned seats for hubby and a great view complete with a jumbo tron for close ups.

After the ceremony we were allowed on the football field for family and friend photos.  We took plenty of course!  My mom was with us and used her fancy camera but those aren’t ready to share yet or of course I would.  And naturally we stood in front of the statue of “Unconquered” to recreate the photo we took when Brent first visited Florida State.

The funny thing is this wasn’t his first choice of universities, but after four years neither he or I could imagine him going anywhere else.  He received an outstanding education, met some fantastic people who will be lifelong friends, and had a spring internship that lead to an unbelievable job offer after grad school.  We are blessed!

If your college bound student is thinking about Florida State I highly recommend it!  Feel free to call with any questions and I’ll answer what I can and connect you to Brent.


Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Century 21 Affiliated