Ways to help control mosquitos in Tampa


Mosquito bites are annoying, itchy, red and swollen but they can also be a major health concern for you and your pet.

The good news is there are some things you can do to help control the mosquito population in Tampa Bay.

Mosquitos are most active in the warm summer months with breeding season lasting from July to September.  The males feed on plant nectar but females need blood in order to reproduce, which makes you and your pet look very appealing.

Orkin pest control recommends doing the following to help control mosquitos around your home.

  1. Remove items that can collect standing water.  Mosquitos only need 1″ of water to breed.
  2. Keep your gutters clean to avoid rainwater buildup.  Check for rain puddles on the roof, leaky pipes and even air conditioner drip lines.
  3. Change water frequently (at least once a week) in bird baths, potted plants, fountains, wading pools, or any containers that hold standing water.
  4. Keep swimming pools treated and functioning properly.
  5. Trim shrubs.  Adult mosquitos rest in dark protected areas with high humidity.
  6. Eliminate points of entry in your home.  Inspect doors, windows and a/c units for drafts and openings.  Make sure your weather-stripping around doors and calk around windows is in good condition.
  7. Check window and door screens to make sure they are secure and free of holes or tears.
  8. Keep doors closed.

I hope these tips help control the mosquito population around your home this summer!

Kelly Harden, Realtor

Mihara & Associates, Inc.



Fun, Real Estate

Keep your kitchen from becoming dated

Nothing dates a home as quickly as a kitchen.  It’s also the most expensive room in the house to update.

What can you do to keep your kitchen looking stylish longer?

  1.  Use plenty of white.  White has been a fan favorite in the kitchen for years.  A white kitchen reflects light better than other colors helping the kitchen to always look bright and even feel larger than it really is.
  2. Install Shaker style cabinetry.  Shaker cabinets have plain, simple, clean lines lending a timeless look to the kitchen.
  3. Keep the backsplash simple.  Subway tiles are a good classic choice, but anything simple without too much pattern should do the job.
  4. Use Carrera marble countertops.  This classic surface never goes out of style.
  5. Install hardwood flooring.  Over 80% of buyers list hardwood floors as very important to them when looking for their new home.


Following these tips will help you have a beautiful kitchen that will keep its resale value for years to come.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.


Design, Fun

The Importance of Sleep

DSC_0598Regular, good quality sleep is important for our health.  Research suggest adults need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to be well rested.

Did you know-

  1.  Your brain needs sleep to function at its best.  Poor sleep can negatively impact your ability to concentrate as well as your productivity and performance while quality sleep improves problem solving skills and enhances memory.
  2. Good sleep can increase your athletic performance.  Sleep is when your body recovers from your day’s activities.
  3. Poor sleep puts you at a greater risk for a heart attack or stroke.
  4. Quality sleep improves your immune system helping you stay healthy
  5. Poor sleep can increase your weight.  When you are tired you are likely to have less energy for working out.  It also can increase your cravings for foods you would normally avoid but your resistance may not be the same when you are tired.

How can you get a better night’s sleep?

  1. Set a schedule and stick to it.  Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.  Don’t sleep in on weekends.
  2. Control your lighting.  Get out in the sunshine or bright light early each day.  Avoid screen time for an hour before bedtime.  Keep your bedroom dark, no nightlight.
  3. Get enough physical activity during the day.
  4. Limit caffeine and alcohol especially before bed.  They can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and your ability to stay asleep.

Improve your sleep environment

  1.  Keep your bedroom quiet.
  2.  Invest in good window shades to keep the light out.
  3.  Make sure your bed and pillows are comfortable.
  4.  Use the bedroom for sleeping.  Do not watch television in the bedroom, have your excercise equipment in the bedroom, pay your bills at the desk in your bedroom, etc.  This helps your brain associate the bedroom with sleeping only.

ox master bath

Begin by following these tips and you should see the quality of your sleep improve.

And of course if you need help finding a new bedroom to sleep in give me a call I am happy to help you find your Tampa Bay dream home!

Kelly Harden, Realtor

Mihara & Assiciates, Inc.






Driverless cars??


Self-driving cars are expected to be the wave of the future.  According to a recent Florida Realtor® news article, currently there are about 7,000 self-driving cars on the roads today and within 20 years we should have 4.5 million.  Yes, that’s million with an “M”.

If this prediction comes true it could impact where you live in the future.  People used to judge their commute between home and office by how many miles away they were.  Now more and more people are asking how many minutes away from home is their office located.  If the number of self-driving cars predicted to hit the roads in the future is accurate, will people buy houses further from their work because their commute time no longer will be wasted time?

We will no longer have to sit behind the wheel and use our commuting time for focused driving.

Commute time could be spent eating, preparing for a meeting, reading, texting, shaving, applying make-up, napping and more.

Driverless cars could eliminate speeding tickets, drunk driving, eating while driving and all types of distracted driving.

You wouldn’t have to worry about taking the keys away from Grandma as she ages, she’ll no longer have to drive herself go anywhere.

It’s a very interesting concept and could change the way we live our lives.  Do you think we will see 4.5 million self-driving cars on the road within the next 20 years?  And if so, how do you see self-driving cars impacting your life?

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.


Fun, Neighborhood Businesses, Real Estate

Hurricane Prep for Your Pets


If a hurricane or tropical storm came your way do you have a plan for your pets?

Most of us like to believe “it will never happen to me” but what if does.  How would you protect your best friend?

Red Cross shelters typically do not accept dogs so if you live in an evacuation zone decide now where you would go.

Before the storm arrives be sure your pet is micro chipped and wears a collar with your identification in case you get separated.

You should also put together an emergency kit for each pet.  A backpack or duffel bag works great.  Start with these items-

  • Copies of their shot records, license, and pet records in a clear plastic bag
  • If your pet takes medication add an extra supply to her emergency kit
  • A blanket or towel for drying off or sleeping on
  • Enough pet food, treats and water for at least 7 days
  • Can opener for wet food along with extra leash, food bowls, toys, brush and plastic potty bags

Please take the time now to prepare your pet’s emergency kit.  If a storm does come you will be glad you did.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.




Back to School 2017

This time of year means preparing for Back to School for many families.  We are preparing a little differently at our house this year.

On Friday Buddy and I drove to Tallahassee to help Brent move out of his apartment.  After three years of living with three roommates he has decided he is ready to be on his own for his final year of college.  This means moving out of his existing apartment before the end of July and moving into his new apartment just before school starts around August 28th.


Where is he going to live in the meantime?  Back home with Mom and Dad of course!  Yes, Brent and all of his things are stuffed into his room and any free space we have in the living room.

But wait, there is more! Erin has decided she is ready to live on her own.  She found an adorable place closer to her teaching job that will cut at least 20 minutes off her drive time to work each day.  She moves out next Friday, just in time to get settled before school starts for her.

During the wait she has purchased a few things for her new home.  They are now stuffed into the living room and dining room along with boxes of stuff that was stored in the garage, under her bed, her closet, etc.

All this coming and going means I currently have 2 extra dining tables and an extra sofa along with tons of boxes of kitchen and bath items stuffed into every free space of my house!!!  And I love it!

We won’t be entertaining in the living and dining room anytime soon, but my youngest two are both home for what may be their last time together and I am one happy mom!

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Results that get you packing!

Mihara & Associates, Inc.


Fun, Neighborhood Businesses

My time at B Creative Painting Studio

I recently had the pleasure of visiting B Creative Painting Studio in Wesley Chapel with a wonderful group of ladies.  My book club was reached it’s seventh anniversary and we went there to celebrate.

It was my first time at this studio, in fact I haven’t been to anything like it since my children were small, but when you go with 17 other ladies you know you are going to have fun!

It’s quite easy to do actually.  First you select the item you want to paint from over 400 items (for some reason this is the hardest part for me because I want to paint everything!).  Once you’ve selected your project choose the colors you want to use and then start painting!  There are no rules, you’re only limited by your imagination!

When you are finished painting your creation stays behind for a couple of days to be fired.  Then staff does their magic and your creation has been turned into a work of art!  Once it’s completed you’ll receive a text message telling you your masterpiece is ready for pick up.

We had such a good time and have been sharing our creations on Facebook with each other.  We painted pet dishes, ornaments, candy dishes, vases and more!  No two pieces used the same color combinations and all of them look beautiful!


Here is my candy dish.  It’s a leaf dish…OK, it’s supposed to be a feather but I used my artistic expression and turned it into a banana leaf.  Hey, it works for me!

If you are ready to use your artistic expression you can find B Creative Painting Studio at The Grove at Wesley Chapel.  Here is a link to their website if you would like more information

I hope you go and have fun!

Kelly Harden, Realtor®, GRI

Results that get you packing!

Mihara & Associates, Inc.




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

Mihara & Associates, Inc.




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®

Mihara & Associates