5 Benefits of Opening Your Windows

We’ve had some warm “spring-like” days in New England recently and it has us all hopeful that spring is around the corner! One of our favorite things about this season is opening the windows and doors in our homes for the first time since autumn. Besides the pure excitement of a new season, there are actually some real benefits of opening those windows when the weather is nice. Keep reading to find out.

1. Bringing in fresh air. It’s good for us, our children and our pets too!

2. Allowing sunlight in. For some of us opening the windows is also an opportunity to open the curtains and blinds as well. Sunlight is a great mood-booster and source of vitamin D.

3. Great way to circulate air. There’s no need for fans or air conditioners when you have fresh air blowing through your house.

4. Saving energy. If you’re no longer turning on you’re A/C and fans as previously mentioned then you are using less electricity and energy.

5. Letting pollutants in the air escape. If you’ve just painted or cleaned your kitchen floors, it’s a great time to open those windows to let any potentially toxic fumes escape.

15 Activities for Your Winter Bucket List

The temperatures are feeling more spring-like than winter-like this week and we’re not complaining! We still have over a month of winter left so we’ve put together a winter bucket list for you! How many items on this list can you already cross off and how many do you plan to cross off before spring?

1. Go ice skating
2. Build a snowman
3. Go skiing
4. Photograph the snow
5. Go sledding
6. Drink hot chocolate (with marshmallows)
7. Light a fire or sit by one with a good book
8. Have a snowball fight
9. Make a crock pot soup
10. See a movie
11. Bake cookies (from scratch)
12. Make snow angels
13. Host or attend a Super Bowl party
14. Learn to knit
15. Make mulled wine

10 Steps to Take to Prepare for a Winter Storm

It looks like we have a winter storm heading our way this upcoming weekend! Whenever the forecast calls for snow, it seems people rush to the grocery store to stock up on bread, milk and bottled water. Keep reading to see what we recommend you do to prepare for our first big winter storm.

1. Check heating system to make sure that it is working.

2. Check batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.

3. Have plenty of drinking water on hand.

4. Make sure you know how to turn water off in the event pipes freeze.

5. Charge your cell phone so the battery is full. Especially if you don’t have a landline.

6. Have salt, sand and a shovel on hand.

7. Collect warm coats and blankets and make sure they are in an easily accessible place.

8. Have a working flashlight ready with extra batteries.

9. Stock up on food that does not need to be heated in case of power outage.

10. Make sure all windows, doors and sliders are closing properly to avoid extra cold air getting inside.

10 Festive Things to do in December

It’s officially December and that means a month full of friends, family, fun and cold-weather activities! Whether you’re looking for a party idea, an outdoor activity or something to entertain your kids, we have you covered with some great ideas!

1. Go ice skating
2. Host a party with a hot chocolate bar
3. Attend a holiday tree lighting
4. Drive around to look at holiday lights
5. Go sledding
6. See a holiday-themed show
7. Visit the city for dinner or shopping
8. Have a holiday movie marathon
9. Bake cookies
10. Throw an ugly sweater party

7 Ways to Recycle your Halloween Pumpkins

Halloween is behind us and that leaves us all wondering what to do with all of those pumpkins that are hanging around! If you’re not interested in keeping your pumpkins intact, try recycling them one of these ways!

1. Scoop out the seeds and roast them in the over for a delicious snack.

2. Use them as serving bowls. Cut off the tops, remove the insides and place a bowl inside for a seasonal touch to your Thanksgiving.

3. Have enough serving bowls? Cut them and clean them the same way and stick your potted plants in them instead.

4. Cook with them! Make pumpkin butter or pumpkin chutney for your seasonal events.

5. Turn them into turkeys. If they haven’t been carved, glue some feather and eyes on your pumpkins for a fun, Thanksgiving craft.

6. Fill with birdseed for an all natural bird feeder.

7. Compost your pumpkins after cutting them up (make sure there is no paint or artificial objects on them if you do this!)

20 Activities for Your Fall Bucket List

Today is the last day of September so it’s time to get moving on our fall bucket lists! The autumn season is filled with so many fun activities for the whole family. Take a look at the fall bucket list we’ve put together to give you some fun ideas for your weekends in October and November!

1. Visit a pumpkin patch
2. Go apple picking
3. Go to a corn maze
4. Take a scenic drive
5. Go to a football game
6. Bake an apple or pumpkin dessert
7. Drink hot apple cider
8. Go to a local fair or festival
9. Take a hayride
10. Go to a haunted house or theme park
11. Have a bonfire
12. Go on a picnic
13. Carve pumpkins
14. Watch scary movies
15. Shop for Halloween costumes
16. Go on a hike
17. Build a scarecrow
18. Plant mums
19. Host a Halloween party
20. Make caramel apples (or just eat them)

5 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe This Summer

The warm weather is officially here and while we can sip lemonade and jump in the pool to stay cool, we have to remember our pets too! Hot days can lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion for our furry friends. Keep reading for some great tips to keep your pets cool and safe this summer!

1. Make sure your pet has plenty of cold, fresh water at all times. If you’re traveling or taking long walks, remember to bring a bowl and water with you so your dog can hydrate.

2. If you’re going to be leaving your pet alone in the house for a long period of time, remember to leave the air conditioner on for them. They get hot sitting in a stuffy house too!

3. Never leave them in the car even if the windows are cracked. The temperature inside of a car can rise very quickly on a hot day. Keep your pet safe by leaving them home or taking them with you if you exit the car.

4. Be mindful of their paws. On really hot days it’s not a good idea to walk with your dog. Not only can they get over-heated, but hot pavement can burn their feet.

5. Make sure they have shade. If your dog likes playing outside, make sure there is a shady area for them to lie down when they’re ready to take a break.

How to Make Your Flower Arrangements Last Longer

Whether you cut flowers from your own garden or pick up a bouquet at the local grocery store, flowers always look great inside the home. It’s a shame when our arrangements start to wilt and look withered after only a couple of days. Here are some tips for making those beautiful arrangements keep their beauty a bit longer.

1. Add a little soda. This may sound crazy but the sugar in sodas (clear ones work best) will help your flowers live longer. Next time you have a glass give the last sip to your flower arrangement!

2. Aspirin. A common and well-trusted method of keeping roses and other cut flowers fresh longer is aspirin! Crush up a tablet and dissolve it in the water before adding your flowers.

3. Boiling water. This trick doesn’t work for all cut flowers but hydrangeas for example are known to wilt quickly. If yours are looking sad, remove them from the vase, put them in some boiling water for 30 seconds. Replace them back into the vase and within a few hours you’ll see them come back to their original beauty.

4. Flower food. This one seems obvious but it certainly works! Typically flower bouquets will come with a packet of flower food but if not you can purchase some at your local flower shop to have on hand.

5. Just add ice. If your flowers are starting to droop, try cleaning the water and adding an ice cube. The chill will perk your arrangement back up in no time.

How to Prep Your Outdoor Space for Warm Weather

With warm weather finally upon us there’s nothing we love more than to spend our time outside! If you have an outdoor space to use for entertaining friends or just relaxing after a long day at work, here are some great ways to get it ready for the season.

1. Pull out those outdoor cushions from their winter hiding place and give them a quick rinse with the hose. Let them dry in the sun and tie them back on their outdoor chairs and couches.

2. Have an outdoor umbrella? Make sure it still functions properly if it wasn’t stored indoors. The winter we had certainly was damaging! Give the umbrella a quick rinse and set it up now.

3. Bring the broom outside and give your patio or balcony a good sweep. Hose it down and scrub away any stains that winter left behind.

4. Dig out your planter boxes and pots and plan out where they will go and what floral arrangements you’ll be planting this year.

5. Like to eat outside? Pick up some plastic dinnerware at the store you can use safely outside! Already have some? Unpack them and start cleaning them up so they’re ready for the first night you want to dine al fresco.