10 Easy Ways to Have Fun Around St. Louis This Summer

School’s out, the sun is back, and everyone’s sporting shorts and sandals. That’s right – summer’s back in the St. Louis area, and we are loving it! Of course, you don’t need to have a beach and an ocean to get the most out of the season. There are plenty of fantastic things to do in your own backyard!

Enjoy summer to the fullest with these 10 fun ideas:

Visit a Farmers Market – There’s nothing like fresh produce, and summer gives us some of the best. You can find all of the berries, peaches, corn, tomatoes, and peppers you want at your local farmers markets! Pick out your favorites, along with some farm fresh eggs, local honey, and delectable bread, as you listen to live entertainment. Oh, and you could find some fun gifts for your friends or yourself, too – there are plenty of crafts, handmade soaps, jewelry, baskets, and more! Just head over to Alton, Edwardsville, or Jerseyville to get started.

Catch a Game or Two – It just isn’t summer without some baseball! Enjoy America’s favorite pastime at Busch Stadium, around the local ball field, or in your backyard playing catch with your family and friends.

Check Out Local Homecomings – Summers call for fun times out in the local parks eating corn dogs and funnel cakes while the kids have the time of their lives on the Scrambler and carousel. Celebrate Highland’s Swiss heritage with plenty of hot food, cold drinks, and fun games at the Schweizerfest. Get lost in carnival games and karaoke at the Glen Carbon Homecoming, or watch a tractor pull, demolition derby, and more at the Madison County Fair.

Go For a Spontaneous Drive – What better time of year is there for grabbing your friends and driving somewhere beautiful with the windows down? Whether you’re marveling at the beauty of the Great River Road, revisiting the tale of the Piasa Bird, or blazing your own trail on your favorite back roads, you’re sure to enjoy the wind flying through your hair as the music blares from your speakers.

Play a Set of Washers – While many of us do whatever we can to stay out of the hot summer sun, we tend to make an exception when it comes to playing a rousing game of washers. Of course, if you want to do ladder golf, Frisbee, cornhole, or any other sport instead (or in addition to) washers, we say go for it!

Meet Your Friends at the Muny – The Muny is celebrating their 100th season this year! Now’s the time to head out to Forest Park and catch one of your favorite shows with your family and friends. Shows this year include Meet Me in St. Louis, Singin’ in the Rain, Jersey Boys, Annie, and many more. Get your tickets here and get ready to have a blast!

Savor St. Louis Classic Foods – Whether you’re cooking up some pork steaks or horseshoes at home, demolishing a plate of toasted raviolis with your best friends, or splitting a St. Louis-style pizza at a party, you can’t go wrong with enjoying some local cuisine throughout the season. Don’t forget to top it all off with some delicious gooey butter cake, no matter what the occasion!

Consume a Healthy Amount of Frozen Custard – When dusk rolls around, it isn’t uncommon to find your neighbors or people you’ve gone to school with lined up and waiting to sink their teeth into some fresh frozen custard. Enjoy a classic concrete at Ted Drewes, savor Annie’s Frozen Custard’s Flavor of the Week, or order your favorite concoction of flavors at Bobby’s Frozen Custard.

Be Dazzled by Fireworks – No July 4th celebration is complete without a fireworks display! Fortunately, St. Louis has some of the best shows in the nation. Prepare to be left awestruck whenever you check out the fireworks in the city, Edwardsville, Alton, Highland, Troy, Granite City, and anywhere else you may go in the Metro East St. Louis region!

Soak in the Music at the Muny Band Concerts – Head on over to Highland, Edwardsville, or Alton (or all 3!) to sit back and enjoy some beautiful live music with your friends and family! You just need to bring a lawn chair or a picnic blanket – these weekly municipal band concerts are free.

How do you like to celebrate summer? Tell us in the comments below!

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How to Decorate with Succulents (and Keep Them Alive) Like a Pro

succulent terrarium

Have you been thinking about adding some pizzazz to your home décor? Maybe you’ve seen people decorating with those oh, so adorable, seemingly omnipresent little succulents. Maybe you like the idea of adding these no-fuss plants around your home, but you have the cursed brown thumb and every plant you touch seems to wither and die under your care.

Never fear. We’ve put together a handy list to help you not only decorate with these spiky little gems but also keep them alive like a regular pro. Read about them below!

Decoration Ideas:

Leave ‘Em Hanging – Indoors or out, some succulents hanging around in pretty planters can really add some life to your space. Add a bit of personality by securing the pots with some sturdy twine.

Greet Them at the Door – They say that first impressions are everything, so make it count by keeping a few cute succulents in the entryway. We think they look especially nice next to a pretty picture frame or a small stack of books!

Keep Your Thinking Sharp – Succulents are great little plants to keep on your desk. They don’t need too much attention and are happy to give your workspace a little bit of life while you work from home.

Make a Centerpiece – Cacti and other succulents make a colorful, unique centerpiece on your kitchen table, coffee table, or any other spot of prominence in your home. Whether you group a few of them together in one planter or purchase a handful of various succulents in their own pots, you really can’t go wrong!

Pretty Up Your Windowsills – Are your ledges begging for some decorative attention? Succulents are the perfect little touch for any windowsill! Put them in fun planters and watch them soak up the sun!

Place Them on Shelves – Add some green to your bookshelves with some potted succulents. Aside from looking perfect next to your favorite pieces of literature, these plants will take care of themselves with very little upkeep!

Now that you know what to do with your succulents, here are a few quick pointers to help keep them alive for more than a few weeks:

*Give them some room – Most succulents like being outside in warm, dry climates and like to have a little space. When you plant them, be sure to give them a bit of breathing room so they can grow and flourish.

*Provide shade – Believe it or not, some succulents can get sunburn. While we don’t recommend slathering on the sunscreen, we do suggest placing them in a spot that gets at least a little shade throughout the day.

*Water them right – These plants have learned to live a very long time with little water, but that doesn’t mean they can’t go without it entirely. Give your succulents a healthy rain shower every few weeks to keep them hydrated and happy.

*Drainage is essential – Succulents don’t like water hanging around – after all, too much water at the roots leads to rot. Make sure that your planter has some sort of drainage so that water can be diverted away from the plant, and remember to water them lightly.

*Don’t forget to feed them – When it comes to succulents, a once-a-year meal is just enough. Feed them organic fertilizer at the beginning of their growing season for the best results!

Guess where these adorable plants would look best? The home of your dreams. We can make that happen! Just call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started today!

5 Simple Tips to Make Your Yard Pet-Friendly

labrador looking over fence

We know you love your pet. After all, you’ve made sure that their world inside your home is filled with plenty of water and healthy food, treats, a cozy bed, and their favorite toys. But is your backyard equally as safe and fun for your four-legged friend?

Whether you’re bringing home a new pet or just want to make life even better for your furry best friend, here are 5 easy tips to help make your backyard a paradise for your dog or cat:

Give Them a Steady Water Source – Your pet needs plenty of water, especially during the hot summer months. Keep a large bowl filled with lots of fresh water, or go ahead and add a water feature to your landscaping that your pet can access such as a stream or a splash fountain. Have a water-loving pet? Keep a small pool out for them to frolic in. If you have a pool made for humans, however, make sure that it is securely covered whenever your pet is outside.

Fence Them In – Keep your pets safe by creating a safe enclosure, whether you fence in your entire yard or an enclosure for them to enjoy. Make sure that it’s strong enough to keep your pets inside and intruders outside. If you have a cat that enjoys the great outdoors, create a cat-proof fence with an inward angle of 45 degrees at the top.

Provide Shade and Shelter – Like people, dogs can get sunburn and suffer from sunstroke, and cats enjoy having privacy. Trees and large shrubbery should give your pet sufficient shelter and shade. If your yard lacks trees, outstretched tarps, a patio umbrella, or a doghouse could do the trick (no pun intended).

Avoid Toxic Landscaping – Pets can get into trouble sometimes when they explore. Prevent accidental poisoning by ensuring that your garden is free of any toxic plants and flowers or create a small fence around the perimeter of your garden. Remember to check which plants are poisonous to dogs and cats before you plant anything!

Make It Fun – An exercised pet is a happy pet. Make sure that your yard has plenty of space for your four-legged friend to run, chase balls, play fetch, and safely explore their territory. Get a little creative and construct an obstacle course for your pet to enjoy or designate a spot for the two of you to play together!

Don’t have enough space for your pet outside? The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties can help with that! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to find the perfect home for you and your furry friend. Sniff out your future dream home by visiting our listings page at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

4 Easy Ways You Can Flood-Proof Your Yard

rain barrel

As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers; however, seemingly endless springtime rain can herald some serious damage to your yard, and fast. Flooding isn’t just an eyesore – it can also kill any overly saturated grass and, depending on the proximity to your home, may also cause water damage in your basement.

Don’t let the springtime storms rain on your parade. Protect your home and yard with these 4 easy tips!

Create a Rain Garden – Have a low spot in your yard that tends to become your own private pond after heavy rains? Bolster it with some colorful, water-loving plants! Rain gardens are environmentally friendly and they can give you beautiful curb appeal. Choose native plants that soak up water like Stokes aster, Louisiana iris, Black-eyed Susans, sweetspire, and spider lily. When you create your rain garden, be sure to place the plants with the highest wet soil tolerance in the center to allow the rain to percolate the ground slowly and evenly.

Use Heavier Mulch – How many times have you had to head outside, rake in tow, to clean up the mulch chips that heavy rainfall scatters? Well, you can put a stop to that by using heavier mulch in your garden areas! We suggest avoiding pine mulch and trying something more akin to hardwood mulches. Some brands create chips out of man-made materials, making it a low maintenance choice for homeowners.

Divert the Rain Creatively – While you can certainly divert the rain away from your home by using a long downspout, you can always feel free to get a bit more creative. Good with landscaping or looking for a new side project? Try making your very own waterfall or stream. Looking out more for the environment? Installing a rain barrel might be more up your alley!

Install Permeable Pavers – Have you noticed water sitting for days on your walkways, patio, deck, or driveway? Then we have the perfect solution – permeable paving stones and grout. This type of landscape will help drain the water back into the ground and keep your walkways puddle-free!

How do you keep your yard safe from flooding? Have we missed any tips? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!

7 Tips to Make De-cluttering a Breeze This Spring

decluttering

When it comes to spring cleaning, some tasks can look more challenging than they appear. We’re not talking about cleaning behind the refrigerator or tidying up the garage. There’s one particular task that looks easy at first but can easily overwhelm anyone who decides to undertake it – de-cluttering.

You might feel prepared to tackle the messy junk drawers and the disorderly closets, but how often do you get started only to find yourself giving up and shoving everything back where you found it? Now you don’t have to let those piles of clutter intimidate you any longer. Just follow our tips below to help you de-clutter like a pro!

Sort by Categories, Not Rooms – Often when homeowners begin the process of de-cluttering, they will start in one room and work on it until it’s finished before moving on to the next. Instead of working room by room, we suggest sorting things categorically. For example, find all of your clothes or all of your books, compile them all in one spot, and sort through them there. You’ll be surprised how much easier the process is when you do this!

Ask Yourself One Important Question – As you begin sifting through your items, take a good look at each thing and ask yourself this one question: does this item make you happy? If it does, keep it and give it a home of prominence for good use. If not, simply discard it by donating it or throwing it away.

Kick Guilt to the Curb – During the de-cluttering process, you might come across items that make you feel, well, guilty. Maybe it’s that shirt you bought on clearance but never wore. Perhaps you found that old tea set that you never used from your mother-in-law. Don’t let guilt force you into keeping things you don’t want or need! If anything, tell yourself that you will make someone else much happier by donating these items.

Give Yourself Permission – Do some of your items not fit your style or way of living anymore? Give yourself permission to let them go! This goes for uncomfortable dresses, books you no longer like, and accessories that no longer serve a purpose. Be thankful for the fun times you enjoyed with these items, give them to someone who could use them, and move on.

Keep the Kitchen Counters Clean – When it comes to de-cluttering your kitchen, sticking to the basics works the best. Don’t be lured by the siren’s cry of the sales rack. Just keep the things you need and use frequently on the countertops. You’d be amazed at just how clean and open your kitchen will look with fewer items on the counters!

Create Dividing Lines – Before you put everything back in its rightful place, take the time to compartmentalize everything – literally. Divide your nightstand into sections for the remote, notebooks, pens, and a notebook for easy access. Neatly fold your clothes vertically in your drawers (shoeboxes are handy for this!). When you make separate sections for your items, you will find that you can find what you want more easily.

Speed-Clean Clutter Nightly – Each night before you go to bed, take 15 minutes to tidy up your home. Wipe down the kitchen countertops and take care of the dishes, straighten up blankets and pillows on the couch, and put away your clothes and accessories. Your home will seem much cleaner and enjoyable when you wake up the next day!

De-cluttering can be tough work, but it’s always worth it in the end. After all, it’s a scientific fact that a clean, orderly house is good for your mind!

How do you de-clutter your home? What secrets have you learned throughout the years? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Steps to Help You Plant the Perfect Herb Garden

herb garden

As winter officially comes to a close this week, many homeowners have spring on their minds. Maybe you’re feeling the itch to break out the spring decorations and breathe new life into your home. Perhaps you just can’t wait to get outside and start digging in the dirt and planting flowers again. Or maybe this year you want to do something totally different like start your own herb garden.

If that last option sounds like you, then you’re in luck! We have 5 handy tips to help you start your very own herb garden. Check them out below!

Determine How You’ll Begin – There are two ways you can begin your herb garden: with seeds or with grown plants. If you choose seeds, you may come out with more plants to glean your herbs from. For beginners, basil, dill, parsley, chives, fennel, and cilantro are quite easy to grow. Want to buy small plants instead? That’s perfectly fine, especially if you choose to plant perennials. While the plants may take a bit more time to settle in, they will last you for years and years once they take root.

Choose the Right Herbs – It probably goes without saying, but we have to say it anyway: plant herbs that you will actually use in future dishes. For instance, if you enjoy relaxing with a calming cup of tea before going to bed, mint is a great herb to choose. Pick a few of your favorites and add more throughout the years.

Find the Right Soil – If you’re preparing a spot in your yard for your herbs to grow, you’ll want to break up and loosen the soil with a large garden fork so the plants can take root more easily. Prevent drainage problems by adding some compost to the soil, too. Planting a container garden? Make sure you purchase an organic potting soil mix that is designed for containers. Your plants will appreciate it!

Plant in the Right Place – To have a garden full of healthy herbs, put them in a spot that is good for both you and the plants. You’ll want to place them in an easy-to-access location so you won’t forget about them. Most herbs will prefer a setting that has full sun, so long as the temperatures don’t rise above 90 degrees in the summer. Remember to check the soil often and water them when they get dry!

Prune Them to Productive Perfection – Keep your herbs neat and productive by snipping off the tips of their shoots frequently. Doing so will make them produce more for a longer time. By the way, you can eat the flowers, seeds, and plants of your herbs!

So, did we miss any pro-tips that have helped you in the past? Post your advice in the comment section below!

When Is It Too Early to Decorate for the Upcoming Season?

when is it too early to decorate for spring

Living in the Greater St. Louis region is pretty great. We’re close enough to plenty of exciting venues and fun things to do, yet we can still get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy life at a slower pace whenever we want.

We Midwesterners are also fortunate to experience all of the seasons and the joys they bring. Sometimes, though, we find ourselves teeming with anticipation for the upcoming season, whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter. We can’t wait to update and refresh our decorations and accessories, our throws and pillows, and our wardrobe. The question is – when is it too early to start decorating for the upcoming season?

Here’s the answer (and you may or may not like it): there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to decorating. However, switching up your décor is dependent on two general factors: the calendar and the weather.

Typically, it’s acceptable to begin decorating for the new season on the months in which they begin – March for spring, June for summer, September for fall, and December for winter. Sometimes, though, we can take cues from the weather. If the temperatures are teasing spring like they have been this past week, or if the trees are beginning to bloom (or lose their leaves in autumn), then you can see it as a sign from Mother Nature that it’s time to refresh your décor.

Just remember – even though you may feel done with a season (winter, for example) and are ready to move on to the next, it’s always best to enjoy the season as long as it’s here. Otherwise, you’ll miss the beauty of the season right in front of your eyes!

When do you decorate for the seasons? Do you stick to a hard and fast rule, or do you let the weather dictate when you’ll make the swap? Let us know in the comments below!

8 Pet Goals All Responsible Owners Should Achieve

National Responsible Pet Owners Month

As pet owners, we all love the furry, scaly, slow-moving, or feathery animals that share our homes with us. We know that owning a pet is a very rewarding experience, but we are also aware of all the time, energy, and responsibility that come with taking care of an animal.

In celebration of National Responsible Pet Owners Month, we want to help you become an even more responsible and caring pet owner. Whether you’re looking for your new four-legged best friend or have had the privilege of caring for a special animal for some years now, here are 8 things you can do to ensure that your pet is happy and healthy!

Choose a Pet That Fits Your Lifestyle – It’s so easy to cave in to a cute face, whether it’s that super friendly beagle, sweet Tuxedo kitty, or furry-as-all-get-out Siberian husky. Resist and choose a pet or breed of animal that fits your lifestyle. Your future best friend needs to have the right energy and temperament to fit your way of life and your family’s needs.

Pet-Proof Your Home – Pets are curious creatures, especially when they’re first introduced to your home. It’s wise to not leave out your favorite shoes or that expensive handbag when your pet isn’t being supervised. Consider putting safety locks on the cabinets in your kitchen and bathroom, and cover your power outlets, at least until your pet becomes more familiar with your home. Keep dangerous objects out of reach by putting them up high, using a baby gate, or closing doors to keep your pets out.

Make Them Feel at Home – Give your pet their own special corner for them to enjoy nutritious food and plenty of water. Also, make them feel completely at home by giving them a comfy bed in a designated spot in your home. For social animals, this could mean snoozing peacefully somewhere in the living room where you and your family and friends gather. For others, it might mean nodding off in a quiet space away from noise.

Give Them Plenty of Exercise – Remember to give your furry buddy plenty of love and attention by playing with them! Keep a variety of pet-friendly toys and puzzles around for them to play with and enjoy, and be sure to give them plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Don’t forget to let them interact with other animals and people regularly as well!

Keep Them Tagged – Sometimes our pets are a little too adventurous and wander off by themselves. In case this happens, be sure to put a collar with ID tags on your pet or microchip him. Doing this will ensure that your pet is returned to you more quickly and more easily!

See the Vet Regularly – Whether it’s for an annual or routine visit, it’s important that you take your pet to see the vet on a regular basis. Along the same lines, remember to bathe and groom your pet on a regular basis. It will depend on the type of pet and breed that you own, so be sure to ask your vet what’s best.

Get them Spayed or Neutered – All too often, countless animals enter shelters nationwide every year. Do your part in decreasing the pet population by spaying or neutering your furry friend.

Be There for the Long Haul – When you adopt a pet, you are committing yourself to caring for an animal for its whole life. Just like in any relationship, you will have good and challenging times together. Prepare to invest time, energy, and patience in your pet. Even if you and your pet have to work to overcome separation anxiety, chronic health problems, or house training, it will be worth coming home to your friend every single day!

If you’re ready for a pet but your housing situation isn’t, the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties can help! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298, and we can help you find your dream home for you and your future pet!

10 Easy Ways to Get Out of a Decorating Rut

home decor

It’s happening again: you wake up, reluctantly dragging yourself out of bed as the sunlight streams through your curtains. You casually look around your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and living room as you prepare yourself for the day ahead, and you just feel so uninspired. It’s like a scene out of Groundhog Day – you feel like you’re living the same day over and over and over again. You’re Bill Murray, but instead of repeating the same day constantly, you’re trapped inside a dull space that no longer brings you any joy. Will this cycle of misery ever end?

The answer is yes! All you need to do is shake things up a little bit. After all, doing or seeing the same things too often can get old in time. In celebration of Groundhog Day and for everyone out there who feels like they’re living in a decorative funk, here are some handy tips to help you feel inspired once more:

Rearrange the Furniture – One of the easiest ways you can get your creative juices flowing is simply by rearranging the furniture. Swap out works of art around your space. Make one of your chic living room chairs your new desk chair. Heck, even moving your sofa off your wall can make a world of difference (by the way, February is Pull Your Sofa Off the Wall Month!).

Clear Your Kitchen Countertops – Does your kitchen feel a bit overcrowded? Try taking everything off the countertops and temporarily placing them in a different room. Look at everything that used to grace your countertops – the coffee machine, the spice rack, the toaster, your trusty cookbooks, and even the plethora of dishtowels you had hanging around – and reevaluate what you really want in your kitchen. This should help clear up some space, reassess what you really want and need, and give your kitchen a cleaner, sleeker look.

Give Something a Paint Job – Whether you’d like to freshen up your walls, a piece of furniture, or the frame of an old mirror, a new coat of paint can really help give a room a whole new look! Don’t be afraid to take a risk. After all, it’s only paint, and if you don’t like it or grow bored with it, you can always use a different color later!

Make a Gallery Wall – Do you have a few favorite works of art or photos that you haven’t really put on the wall yet? Try putting them in frames and creating your own gallery wall! Experiment with color and placement until you’ve got it just the way you like it.

Try a New Shower Curtain – Sometimes your bathroom can feel like new with something as simple as a new shower curtain. Choose to go big with a bold and beautiful design or opt for a clear or white curtain to make your bathroom appear larger, more open, and more luxurious.

Swap Out Accessories – Small changes can make a big difference. Take the time to go through each room, take stock of your accessories, and see how you can change things up a bit. Look at your blankets, rugs, pillows, figurines, and even the window treatments to see what you can do to transform your space. You’d be surprised by how versatile some pieces can really be!

Change Out Your Bedding – Tired of the same old bedding greeting you every night and morning? Consider reversing your quilt or comforter or switching it out with a duvet from another room! Don’t forget to switch out the pillows as well. To experience the whole effect, give yourself an extra minute or two to make your bed every morning!

Try Something Completely Different – Sure, you have your own sense of style, but sometimes seeing the same ol’ same ol’ can be dreadfully boring. Get out of your comfort zone a little bit and buy or do something totally unorthodox for you. Paint your front door a bright, happy color. Splurge on that patterned chair you fell in love with. Adding a few different touches here and there can really help you break out of your decorating rut and make you fall in love with your space all over again!

Revitalize Your Coffee Table Space – Still have the same books collecting dust on your coffee table? Here’s an easy solution – try setting out a handful of small books or one large, sleek picture book. Feel free to leave the large book open on one of your favorite pages to see if inspiration will strike.

Visit New Stores – If you’ve passed by a store, were curious about it, but never went in, you officially have our permission to go check it out! Take your time and look at how items are arranged by color, shape, and texture. Unleash the artist inside you and explore some uncharted territory. You never know what might move you!

Did you know that social media is also a great place for you to find some inspiration? Check out our Instagram page to help you get creative and say good-bye to those Groundhog Day vibes stat!

10 Cozy Ways to Stay Warm All Winter Long

cozy winter indoors

Just when you think that winter has loosened its grip (remember that glorious January thaw we had last week?), it’s snatched us up once more in its clutches. With below-freezing temperatures and gloomy gray days, you may feel like you’ll never be warm again.

While spring is slowly but surely making its way back, we have some tips to help you stay warm and snug for the rest of the brutal winter season. Check them out below!

Light a Fire – If you have a fireplace, then it’s time to put it to good use! Keep your fire tools and supplies close by to make starting a blaze a breeze. Bedeck your mantel with your favorite decorations, snuggle up in a comfortable chair, put your feet up, and bask in the warmth that a fireplace gives!

Bake Something Delicious – Want to stay warm and enjoy something delicious? It’s time to break out the cookbook, turn on the oven, and bake your favorite food! Whether you’re making the perfect chocolate chip cookie or a cozy comfort food like mac ‘n’ cheese, you can’t go wrong with baking in the wintertime!

Sip and Savor Your Favorite Hot Drink – What better way to warm up than enjoying your freshly-baked treats with your favorite hot beverage? Sip your favorite tea, wake up to a hot cup of coffee, or a mug of hot chocolate with the works as you lounge in your favorite chair.

Dress Up Your Windows Properly – You’re probably not running around in a tank top and shorts. Just like you, your windows should be properly outfitted for the weather, too! Stay warm by replacing thin curtains with heavier drapery made of wool or fleece. Don’t forget to open them up on sunny days to soak up some free heat!

Throw Some Throws Around the House – Don’t get us wrong – throws and blankets are perfect for snuggling in as the snow tumbles to the ground, but they can come in handy in other ways! Try laying a throw over your headboard or over a railing to create more texture. Remember, additional texture means upping the coziness factor!

Add a Rug or Two – Bare floors during the winter can be a bit of a shock to the system underfoot. Keep your feet feeling fine by adding a rug on your bare floors. Rugs, especially those with greater texture, will feel warm and cozy underfoot, so opt for a shaggy rug to pad across on cold mornings!

Enjoy a Warm Bath – Instead of turning up the thermostat, draw a warm, relaxing bath! Wash away the stresses of the day by adding some Epsom Salt or lavender oil. Don’t want a bath? A nice hot shower can do the trick, too!

Stash Extra Blankets Wherever You Lounge – Here’s an easy life-hack for you: make sure to keep a few extra blankets in the rooms you to tend to hang out in the most. Fill up a basket, an ottoman, or a trunk with your favorite throws and blankets. This is especially handy if you want to keep your thermostat lower to save on energy.

Block Drafts Like a Pro – Drafty homes can make you feel cold and uncomfortable. Block the winter air with weather-stripping, caulk, and door sweeps. To see if you have any air leaks, walk by the windows and doors with your hand and a small candle. If the flame moves at all while you’re standing still, then you probably have an air leak!

Make a Comfy Reading Nook – Who doesn’t love curling up in a cozy space to read a good book during the winter? Wherever you choose to create your perfect reading corner, keep plenty of pillows and a quilt or blanket nearby. Complete your space with some great lighting to read by and a spot to place your favorite beverage in between page turning!

Warming up to the idea of finding your dream home? Don’t be left out in the cold! Just call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started today! Don’t forget to check out our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!