Happy 4th of July St. Louis!

Before the festivities begin, I just want to stop a minute and wish you a good July 4th! I hope your day includes a noisy parade and noisier fireworks. I think once in a while we just need to cast aside our grown-up personas and show off that kid hiding inside. Ok, maybe I do that more than once in a while! So get out there and waste your allowance on fireworks, get a little BBQ sauce on your chin (and shirt!), join in the watermelon seed spitting contest, and sport that silly Uncle Sam hat.

In the spirit of the day, I did a little checking about the history of Independence Day. Guess what? They didn’t tell us the whole story in grade school! In case you’re interested, read on to find out what I discovered:

The original resolution (to cut the apron strings from Mother Britain) was introduced to the Continental Congress on June 17, 1776.

Then Thomas Jefferson and a willing committee put their heads together to polish up a formal writing for the grand announcement.

The actual resolution was approved on July 2 but the Declaration of Independence (a separate document) was adopted on July 4, 1776.

It took days, weeks, and in one case, years before all the signatures on the Declaration were in place. Thomas McKean didn’t get his signature on the page until 1781!

Exactly one year after the Declaration was approved, Philadelphia held a huge birthday party for the infant republic. But the first official (by legislative act) celebration was held in 1781 in Massachusetts.

OK, ok, class is over. Now, grab your friends and head to Jefferson Barracks for fireworks; go downtown to watch the parade, air show, catch a concert under the majestic Gateway Arch; or stay close to home and enjoy your local community events. Independence is worth celebrating! And no place has more to ways to celebrate than St. Louis!

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Timely Tips: Memorial Day Picnic Menu Ideas

Memorial Day is usually spent watching the latest blockbuster film, but it is also a great time of year to get outside and celebrate the nice weather.

Depending on where you live you may be able to plan a traditional picnic with blanket and basket, or maybe just bring the idea of summer inside, but either way, planning a Memorial Day picnic is a great way for you to spend the first long weekend of the season with family and friends. Here are some great and fun menu ideas for your holiday picnic as well as some tips for giving it a Memorial Day theme!

Enjoy a Concert!

The holiday is chock full of free events and concerts. Check your local listing and take advantage of great entertainment.

Food And Drink!

When planning any menu it is always important to balance taste and nutrition. It is also important to a have a theme and, since this is a Memorial Day picnic, choosing menu items that are simple to prepare and eat outdoors, as well as All–American, is your best bet. Things like burgers and hotdogs are great for backyard picnics. Fried chicken is another great main course idea, but if you want something more portable a hero sandwich is an easy choice.

To complete your meal, items like potato salad, garden salads, and coleslaw are inexpensive and easy to prepare sides, but if you are looking to get more creative then consider a nice pasta salad or a seven-layer dip. Lastly, don’t forget dessert! Staples like apple pie, brownies, or cookies are all great and easy choices.

For drinks, you’ll want to provide several choices and some non-alcoholic beverages to make all your guests happy. Lemonade and other fruit-based drinks will make the kids happy and are also great mixers.

Decoration Ideas

The easiest way to decorate for your Memorial Day picnic is to use red, white, and blue. Set your picnic table with a blue tablecloth or blanket and add red and white napkins, plates, and cutlery. You can also continue this theme by adding an arrangement of red, white, and blue carnations or other flowers, and add a few small flags to give it that finished look.

Memorial Day is a great time of year to host a party for family and friends, and these ideas can help you get your summer season started with a fun and inexpensive picnic.

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The Search is Over!

Looking for a home in South St. Louis?  I’ve got what you’re looking for ~

Rosa Avenue is an absolutely gorgeous brick Princeton Heights cottage on a quiet, tree-lined street in the January Park neighborhood.

Three bedrooms plus a bonus room can be found in the conveniently located Cologne Ave home.

Blanche Drive offers a huge deck in a fully fenced backyard with the added entertaining bonus of a large rec room in the lower level.

Call or text today to set up a showing!

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Timely Tips: Give Your Front Porch A Style Makeover

Whether you are looking to sell your home or just think it’s time for a new look to improve your curb appeal, giving your front porch a makeover is an easy and inexpensive way to give your home’s exterior a fresh look. Here are a few simple ways to spruce up your front porch without taking a bite out of your wallet!

Dress Up That Concrete Porch

If your home has a simple concrete porch, there are a number of great ways to give it a more refined appearance that won’t involve replacing it.

One option is using concrete paint. Available in many colors and textures, you can create the look of a more expensive stone porch at a fraction of the cost of replacing it. Paint also gives you the flexibility to flaunt your style and get really creative. You’re limited only by your imagination!

concrete porch

Plants And Flowers

Adding plants and flowers to your front porch is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to add curb appeal to the exterior of your home. Choose plants that are appropriate to the light for your porch, and also choose plants in colors that complement the other colors in the exterior of your home. Select pots that accent the space, and consider quality hanging plants to add interest to windows.

Final Touches

One of the easiest ways to dress up your new porch is to choose interesting and complementary final touches. A new mailbox, a handmade or antique- looking street number sign, and a nice welcome mat can all make the space look more homey and finished. If you have the space, also consider adding a few chairs and a small table, or add the nostalgia of a porch swing.

My wife and I love the outdoor living space our front porch provides and you can find us there frequently when the weather is nice.  We dress up our porch with outdoor rugs and seasonal lights.  And be it Halloween or St. Patrick’s Day,  you can see that we never exclude the porch in our holiday decor either!

Creating curb appeal is of vital importance to making your home more appealing to potential buyers, and even if you are not selling your home, it is an easy way to give your home’s exterior a makeover without spending a fortune.

From our front stoop to yours ~ Happy Porch Sitt’n!

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Sold! ~ Dogtown ~ OPEN SUNDAY 4/21

I’m delighted to present 1437 Kraft.  My friends and family will recognize this garden oasis home as my next door neighbor when my wife and I lived in Dogtown.

MLS#18029159                                                                                                                     $120,000

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Timely Tips: How To Start A Garden

So you’re thinking about starting a new garden ~ or at least you were until the temps bottomed out this afternoon! Rest assured fellow St. Louisians, give it a day or two and you’ll be once again ready to test your green thumb skills. The good news is that regardless of whether you’re a novice or seasoned expert, you can enjoy the benefits of a garden with nothing more than a little knowledge, some seeds, and the proper tools.

Step # 1: Pick Your Plants

Before you start a new garden, the first and most obvious step is to choose your plants. Some things to consider when making your selection include your geographical region, climate, soil condition and the size of your space. My wife is a big fan of hostas because they are easy to care for and hard to kill (and that’s important!)

 

Different climates demand different plants, which means you must choose wisely in order to get the most out of your garden. Your soil condition is important because most gardeners find it best to have a flat planting surface with a soil that has the nutrients necessary for a healthy garden. You can always add fertilizer, which can help to make up for any lacking nutrients in your own soil. The size of your space is important because seeds should not be planted too close together or too close to a wall.

Step # 2: Prepare Your Soil

Whether you are planting seeds or transplanting a garden, it’s important to loosen your soil to allow for the proper marriage of your plants and the earth’s nutrients necessary for survival. Some gardeners prefer to till their soil, while others simply dig and leave the surface loosened for planting.

Step # 3: Water Your Garden

Once your seeds are planted, it’s time to have patience. There’s nothing quite like the hurry up and wait feeling that every gardener experiences when they have made all of the necessary preparations for their new garden and then the waiting game begins. The proper watering can help your hard work to materialize in a healthy way. Most experts recommend watering a garden in the early morning hours when the air is still cool. Instead of applying the water directly to the plants themselves, try adding it to the soil instead.

Step # 4: Maintenance Matters

It’s important to keep on top of trimming and weeding or else your garden can get easily away from you.  Many gardeners love this process.  Me? Not so much. Here’s where I’m lucky. My in-laws’ housesit for my wife and me at least one week a year.  It’s awesome to come home to find they’ve taken care of that season’s maintenance!

Step #5: Enjoy

Sit back and take in the beauty that surrounds you.  For me, that means relaxing on the porch with my four-legged kids.  

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Sold! ~ Tower Grove South ~ OPEN SUNDAY 4/15

Showings start on Friday, April 13th.  Contact me today to schedule a showing for you!

Utah___Just_Listed

 

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Make.Me.Move Listing of the Moment

That drive down Lindell Blvd next to the park, you know the one, with the homes that could more easily pass as museums.  Well, if living in one has always been your dream, here’s your chance.  And it’s listed at under 1.4 million!

Click here for full listing.

 

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It is Spring already, isn’t it? Tips for an Indoor Egg Hunt

Easter marks the beginning of spring in most places, but unfortunately, the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Right now, Easter Sunday in St. Louis looks dry but a bit on the chilly side.  There’s even a  chance the temps will fall below freezing late in the evening! But just because the weather may not cooperate,  there’s no reason to cancel the egg hunt. You can do an indoor egg hunt for your kids that’s just as much fun as an outdoor one—perhaps even more!

Plenty Of Hiding Places

The benefit of an indoor egg hunt is that it offers a large number of hiding places for eggs. You can spread the egg hunt through various rooms and use the furniture, window sills, and cabinets as hiding places. This could mean the egg hunt takes a lot longer than simply finding eggs spread out in the grass.

Make sure you choose hiding places that are within your shortest child’s reach. The last thing you want is a child trying to climb to reach an egg and having a dangerous fall. Also be sure that the locations are safe and secure, and there is nothing that a child could be hurt on or break.

Make It Part Of The Morning

An indoor egg hunt can be set up in the evening after the kids are in bed, creating a fun Easter morning surprise. Since you don’t have to worry about leaving candy out in the yard overnight, you can use the night before to prepare the hiding places.

And for those with older kids who may be too cool to hunt eggs, you can try a trick my wife’s parents use.  They tape a $5 bill to one or more of the eggs.  Over or near 50 years of age, and my wife and her sisters will still run around like 5-year olds to find the cash!  Use some creativity and you will see that an indoor egg hunt can be a lot of fun for all ages.

So get ready to enjoy a fun Easter no matter what the weather looks like outside!

 

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Shamrock Season is Here!

St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday that is celebrated every year in March, but it’s not just the Irish that enjoy this festive occasion. In fact, along with countless other people around the nation, it’s one of my favorite holidays.  In St. Louis, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with parades, green attire and house parties that bring family and friends together. Speaking of family, there are a number of ways that you can make St. Patrick’s Day a festive and fun-filled family holiday.

Take Part In a Parade

Whether you are involved directly or simply enjoy watching a St. Patrick’s Day parade from the sidelines, make sure that you attend at least one. There are three great parades to choose from: Downtown for the traditionalist, Cottleville for the newcomers, and Dogtown for the truly Irish! Can you tell I’m a former Dogtown resident?! These festive events include everything from music to floats and local residents coming together to celebrate this annual holiday. You can enjoy a parade with your family by participating together, or simply by watching from afar.

Dress The Part

One of the longest standing traditions for St. Patrick’s Day is the requirement of green attire. Whether it’s a shirt, shamrock pin, pants or even a jacket, not wearing green often means you get pinched from good-natured family and friends. If you want to join in on the celebration as a family, make sure that everyone is wearing green before leaving the house.

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Have A Party

If you really want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, do so by hosting a party in your home. You can invite family, friends, neighbors and other local residents who share in your festiveness. Because the color green is so commonly associated with St. Patrick’s Day, it’s only natural that you would want to serve lime JELL-O, ice cream, and even green KOOL-AID to your guests. Don’t forget to decorate with the green theme in mind by using holiday plates, cups and napkins, table coverings, streamers and even balloons.

 

Festive Dining

For Thanksgiving, many families eat turkey. For St. Patrick’s Day, many families eat cabbage because, well, it’s green. Green beans, vegetables, spinach, fruits and other green foods also remain popular choices for those looking to dine with the green theme in mind.

Look For Luck

When it comes to luck, the four-leaf clover is a very common symbol and it is also associated with St. Patrick’s Day. This means that one of the best ways to enjoy family fun on this festive holiday is to go out in search of four-leaf clovers. Children especially love this and they feel a great sense of accomplishment if they locate the rare find. One of the greatest places to start looking is in your own backyard.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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