Jumping into Spring with Tips to Get Ready for a New Season

Spring has sprung and we couldn’t be happier to start packing away the winter clothes, snow boots and basically anything winter related. It’s time to embrace this new season with an appreciation for all it promises to bring. It’s a known fact that the shorter days and colder weather can make you feel down; there’s even a name for it, season affective disorder (SAD, an appropriate acronym). As a result, we are ready to not only dust off of our state of mind but also get our home in order. Just like us, they take a beating from the cold, so it’s important to take care of things we’ve had to neglect due to the weather.  Tackling these projects now will ensure you’re ready to enjoy spring before moving into summer!

Since the exterior of our homes bear the brunt of the cold season starting outside is best:

  • Check all windows and doors – the cold weather can break down the caulking and stripping that seals your doors and windows so take a walk around your home to check for any damage. Replace any old, cracked caulk and/or stripping for proper insulation. You don’t want to let the warm air inside especially when you’re running your air conditioner this summer!
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts – During the winter leaves and other debris can accumulate inside so it’s important to clean out and ensure proper functionality. Gutters direct water away from the perimeter of the home and with rainy months ahead you don’t want clogged gutters, they’ll only cause trouble.

Gutter

  • Service your air conditioner –To ensure you’re prepared for the hot summer days that follow spring, it’s a good idea to begin servicing your air conditioners Begin by replacing the filters to ensure the efficiency of the unit. Clogged filters make it difficult for the unit to work properly. For anyone with allergies, consider replacing the filter about every 60 days or so. For the more complicated servicing consult an HVAC professional at least once a year.
  • Landscaping – Check the surrounding areas of your home, both front and back, and sweep away any old leaves, debris, and tree branches. If your yard contains any bushes or plants give them a trim; most likely they’ve gotten a bit overgrown during these last few months. And don’t forget to replace that winter ravaged door mat for a fresh new look.

Trimming

  • Trim and siding maintenance – Icy and windy winter conditions can wreak havoc on the exterior which can be fragile. Contact a professional if you spot any damage.

Once you wrap up outside, here are some inside spring cleaning tips to get your home in order:

  • Replace damaged or torn window screens – For anyone who likes to keep their windows open it’s important the screens are in perfect condition. This will allow the maximum amount of fresh air to get into your home as well as keep insects like mosquitoes and flies outside where they belong.
  • A deep clean – Give extra care to cleaning your windows; take down and launder the window treatments, dust off the blinds, and clean them with a damp sponge. Carpets and rugs take a hit during the winter months so a deep steam clean will revitalize them. You can either hire a professional service or if you have some extra time, there are places that will rent the machine to you on an hourly basis.

Window Cleaning

  • Test all emergency systems – Check all of your systems (house, smoke, carbon monoxide alarms) to make sure they’re working properly. These units should be tested regularly and spring and fall maintenance are the best times to do this.
  • Ceiling Fans – You might not realize this but the direction of the blades makes a difference. In addition to giving the fan a good cleaning, you’ll want to change the direction of the fans to blow air down to give the room a breeze and make it feel cooler.
  • Store dry goods in airtight containers – With the warmer weather insects return so it’s important to store all your dry goods in sealed containers as well as wash out your pet’s bowls after every meal.

Food Storage

  • Organize, organize, organize – File, shred, and eliminate any clutter. Clean out cabinets, toss anything old such as medicines and cosmetics, and donate or discard get rid of any unnecessary items you don’t use or need.

Make it to Market

One of our favorite things about Spring is the super fresh and delicious, seasonal produce, and luckily for us there are dozens of farmers markets in Brooklyn to choose from. The below are open right now, so do some research on the seasonal specialties, grab a tote and head to market!

 

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A Green Point
Greenpoint never disappoints, with farmers markets held on Saturdays year-round in McCarren Park. These much-loved markets are enjoyed by the vibrant, growing Williamsburg community and the longtime Greenpoint Polish community. Shoppers mingle with friends and neighbors, bring their dogs to run around at McCarren Park and enjoy live music by local artists and cooking demonstrations by local chefs. Since 1997 this market has stayed true to its loyal customers who are encouraged to learn about featured produce and take home recipes.
North 12th St & Union Ave, Brooklyn. Saturdays, 8am-3pm (Year-Round).

 

PSL_CenterLaneSunny_May2014From the Earth, Down to Earth
On Sundays the Down to Earth Farmers Markets land in Park Slope. This is how we to like to start our Sunday mornings! Founded in 2004 the markets include dozens of vendors who sell plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, honey, baked goods, meat, poultry and more. In the market for the freshest of fresh produce? Check the website to see what’s in season. Right now we’re sea’ing seafood and ciders! This weekend (5/15) there will be a textile recycling program from 10am-5pm. The Market is now also open on Wednesdays if you’re planning a mid-week grocery shop!
5th Ave between 3rd and 4th St, Park Slope. Sundays, 10am-5pm (4/24 – 12/18); Wednesdays, 3pm-7pm (5/11 – 11/16).

 

grand army plazaArmed and Delicious
Founded in 1989, the Grand Army Plaza market is appropriately named, and is the grandest and largest Brooklyn market in the Greenmarket program. On Saturdays year-round these markets treat market-goers to a huge array of farm-fresh produce. A mix of shoppers, runners, dog walkers, families, foodies and more from Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and beyond come together to enjoy the numerous stalls. If you’re checking these markets out, why not make a day of it and explore the nearby beautiful Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Brooklyn Public Library or Brooklyn Museum.
Prospect Park West & Flatbush Avenue, Northwest corner of Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Saturdays, 8am-4pm (Year-Round).

 

courtelyouCourt-Sell-You
We’re sold on the Cortelyou Greenmarket, located on lively Courtelyou Road in Flatbush on Sundays. Since 2003 market-goers have filled their bags and baskets with specialty Mexican produce and herbs, eggs, chicken, fresh pasta, orchard fruit and juices, seafood, mushrooms, grass-fed beef, goat cheese and locally-grown vegetables. Is your mouth watering yet? Cooking demonstrations, seasonal celebrations, family-friendly activities like singalongs and the open adjacent schoolyard ensures a festive atmosphere, located among a thriving shopping strip in the heart of South Brooklyn.
Cortelyou Road between Argyle & Rugby, Flatbush. Sundays, 8am-3pm (Year-Round).

 

 

Brooklyn Spring Flings

Not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket… Spring is here! We’ve rounded up a bunch of the best Brooklyn sunny season happenings.

 

Brooklyn-Cherry-Blossom-600x338Florals for Spring?

Groundbreaking, we know… But Cherry Blossom Season is in full Spring swing throughout March and April at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and you won’t want to miss it. For serious floral fanatics, check out the cherry blossom status map and plan your visit accordingly to get the full impact of these blossoming beauties.

 

brooklyn folk festival

Soak in the Folk

Do you long to boogie to the banjo, or have an urge to throw one into a river? You can do both at the 8th Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival, taking place the second weekend of April at St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn Heights. Compete in the Banjo Toss, take a fiddle workshop or just get your Spring swing on to string-bands, bluegrass, Balkan music, blues and more at the three-day festival.

 

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Senegal Sway and Sing

Now in its 39th year, the nation’s largest festival dedicated to African dance, DanceAfrica takes place the last weekend in May at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. This year the celebrations focus on the dance and music traditions of Senegal, with performances, African fashion, artwork, film screenings and community events.

 

ct-brooklyn15-4736

The Tastea Time You’ve Bean Waiting For

Ceylon, Cortado, Rooibos, Ristretto… If we’re speaking your language, then we know there will be some pep in your step as you head to the 11th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint. On March 19-20 over 60 exhibitors from around the globe will pour tastings of their finest, newest and award-winning caffeinated brews.