Prepare for Winter

(BPT) - As sweater season knocks on the door, it’s time to prepare for the brisk temperatures ahead. This winter, keep your home, health and well-being top of mind with these simple tips to avoid cold weather woes.

Winterize your porch: Install plexiglass panels to keep the cold weather out, allowing you to host friends and family, protect your furniture from snowfall and minimize spring cleaning. Once winter is over, simply pack up the panels and store them for next season. For those who splurged on flooring, apply a protective finish, such as a water sealer or stain, to ensure excess moisture does not seep through the wood.

Take preventative measures: Oftentimes, frozen pipes can burst throughout the winter, or cause leaks as they begin to thaw in the spring. Keep your home safe from leaks by installing the Delta Water Leak Detector - a device that identifies leaks quickly and alerts homeowners at the onset. Simply place the leak detector near water heaters, appliances, sinks or toilets to detect drips or pooling. For added convenience, connect the device to your cell phone to receive alerts in real time.

Turn it upside down: Warm your home without a huge increase to the gas bill by reversing the ceiling fan direction. During the summer months, ceiling fans push air down, naturally lending a cooling effect to those below. By reversing the ceiling fan upward, the cooler air is redirected, keeping you and your family warm beneath.

Cozy up your home: To battle dreary days, stock up on warm essentials, such as flannel bedding, down throw blankets and plush towels. Outfit the common areas with warm fabrics and decorative patterns to keep your home cozy and welcoming during the winter. Finally, consider purchasing comfortable rugs and mats to keep your toes warm on tile and wood floors.

Stephens Real Estate is a locally owned, independent, full service company. Our agents know the Lawrence market and have the experience and the connections to help you find your perfect home. Call 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

The Holidays in Lawrence

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The weather outside could be frightful, but Lawrence and the surrounding towns are always delightful around the holidays. Mass Street is a spectacular show of lights and decorated windows, there are numerous holiday lighting ceremonies, concerts, and other events to attend, and plenty of unique gifts from which to choose. If you’re unsure of how to navigate the myriad of events and activities, visit to plan a memorable holiday outing perfect for family and friends.

While each year brings new and interesting events to attend, there are many timeless classics that shape the holiday season in Douglas County year after year. Consider starting your day with a Lawrence favorite that has been a tradition since 1993, the Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade, held today at 11:00.

This weekend really kicks off the season with holiday activities and events for everyone, including: The Downtown Lawrence Winter Wonder Weekend, Tails & Traditions Holiday Festival at Watkins Museum of History, the Festival of Nativities at Centenary United Methodist, the Holiday Extravaganza at the Sports Pavilion, the Gingerbread House Festival at Abe & Jake’s, the Holiday Homes Tour, and the 93rd Annual Holiday Vespers at the Lied Center.

December 8-17 you may experience the sensation and charm of another winter family favorite in Lawrence: The Nutcracker, A Kansas Ballet performed by the Lawrence Ballet Theatre at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Families who treasure selecting a Christmas tree together can visit Prairie Elf Christmas Trees or the Strawberry Hill Christmas Tree Farm – locally owned and operated farms that provide hayrides, hot drinks, and crafts to make your trip extra special. If you still need more holiday spirit, visit the extensive Christmas tree display in historic Lecompton, the Festival of Lights in Baldwin City, or the Santa Claus Express train ride at the Midland Railway.

Stephens Real Estate wishes you a happy holiday season, and we think these events along with the great restaurants and shops Lawrence offers promise plenty of opportunities for holiday cheer.

We are a locally owned, independent, full service company. Our agents know the Lawrence market and have the experience and the connections to help you find your perfect home. Call Stephens at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Living Lawrence

Lawrence is a great place to live, work and play, so we’ve included the Living Lawrence page on our website as a helpful resource. Read about it here, but definitely bookmark it on your computer, tablet or Smartphone because you’ll want to refer to it often – for lots of different things. Here’s an overview of what you will find at

Essential Information is the stuff you don’t often need, but is important to have handy. Find contact information for the police, sheriff and fire departments, along with a link to the Lawrence Public School District and Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Life gets tricky without our Utilities and Services. If you’re new to the area and need to connect gas and water service, or if your electricity is out, this section will help you find the people who can fix you up. We also include links that will be helpful if you need a driver’s license or a car tag.

It’s easy to see that Lawrence embraces the arts. Check out our Museums, Art & Theatre area which will direct you to the dynamic Lawrence Arts Center or Van Go, the arts-based social service program. In addition, you can connect to Final Fridays’ site, a free monthly arts festival which allows artists to showcase their work throughout our town. Find information for area museums, Theatre Lawrence and the Lawrence Children’s Choir as well.

Community Resources will give you links to everything from city recycling to the Health Department and the Boys & Girls Club. You may find a much needed service or a much desired volunteer opportunity, and you will definitely recognize that Lawrence is a resource-rich community!

The University of Kansas is its own bustling community within our city. We have included links to schedules, entertainment opportunities and events at KU.

Your options for recreational activities are many in Lawrence. Our Parks & Rec section has info about area parks, trails, tourism and sports as well as classes for adults and children throughout the year. Here you will find a link to the LPRD Activities Guide.

Downtown Lawrence is the heart of our city. Find information for activities, learn a little history, double-check the dates of the Farmer’s Market or find out what’s going on at the library.

We hope you will find our Living Lawrence page a helpful resource. With offices in Lawrence and Baldwin City, and a team of real estate professionals who are second to none, we’re your locally owned, independent real estate resource. Call us at 785.841.4500, or Contact Us.

Lawrence’s Epic Desserts

Content courtesy of / Kate Hartland

Sometimes, you have a craving that a savory bite just won’t satisfy. You want creamy and cool, or perhaps warm and spicy. You want a little crunch, a little melt-in-your-mouth, a little sweetness. You want dessert, and here in Lawrence we say you can have your strawberry rhubarb pie and eat it, too.

The truth of the matter is, you can’t come to Lawrence and walk around Mass St. without indulging in an afternoon pick-me-up or post-dinner stop at Sylas and Maddy’s. Ask anyone and they will tell you that they have the best ice cream you can find, in town or otherwise. The shop opened in 1999 and has been locally owned and operated from the get-go. Once you walk in and smell the ice cream and waffle cones they make fresh every day, you won’t need much of an excuse to come back and try every flavor.

Wheatfields was President Obama’s stop of choice when he came to speak at KU, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his decision was based heavily on the extensive and mouth-watering bakery selection. Wheatfields always stuns with their handcrafted, fresh-every-day bread, but you should know that their desserts and pastries are just as well-crafted. Inside this no-frills cafe, baskets are filled with chocolate croissants, brioche, and muffins, and trays are lined with lemon raspberry butter cookies, palmiers, tarts, and macarons. They also have seasonal cakes, tiramisu, and a chocolate torte. The only way you can go wrong is if you leave with just one thing.

At this point, we’re guessing you’ve heard: Ladybird has pie. Good pie. Award-winning, dream-frequenting pie with thick, flaky crust and a delectable and ever-changing selection of fillings. My personal favorite is the strawberry rhubarb, but you won’t find me saying no to a slice of chocolate cream or blackberry. Really, what flavor would I turn down? Ladybird knows you need your fix, so stop in and sit at the counter or take a few slices to go.

If you’re out getting a few things for dinner and feel like a nice sweet treat would round out the evening well, check out the desserts in the pre-made section at the Merc. Not only are they made fresh in the store, but there are often gluten-free and other allergy-sensitive treats available. I can attest to the moist but delicate lemon cake, and the chocolate mousse cups are incredible.

The Burger Stand is known for their namesake and those crazy good truffle fries. But have you caught them on a night when the ice cream machine is up and running? The milkshakes, both alcoholic and non, are a treat to behold. It’s almost enough fun just to read through the menu of unique flavors, but when the frosted glass slides your way, you’ll be glad you picked one.

Lawrence is nothing if not unique, and I think having a food truck that serves Crème Brulee certainly fits that vibe. If you’re lucky enough to find Torched Goodness at a festival or around town, you will not be disappointed. Flavors range from salted caramel to chipotle infused chocolate with a little orange blossom and white raspberry in between. Check the truck’s Twitter for location updates so you can watch your very own Crème Brulee torched before your eyes.

We’ve touched on a few of the delectable desserts around town, but there are sweets aplenty all around town. Ask your Stephens agent for their personal recommendation. And when you’re ready to buy or sell your home, call us first. We know Lawrence and we’re ready to help.

Stephens Real Estate, Inc.
2701 W. Sixth Street
Lawrence, KS 66049

Phone: 785-841-4500
Toll-Free: 1-800-875-4315