Evelyn Doane - William Raveis Real Estate - Cape Cod

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 3/4/2018

Cooking with fresh herbs is infinitely better than using the dried out flakes you'll find at the grocery store. Not only are they packed with much more flavor, but they'll also save you money in the process. Sure, there are some herbs you probably won't use very often and should just keep a small jar of them in your pantry. However, certain herbs are so useful that it's worth having on your window sill to pick from when you need them. If you're thinking about starting an indoor or outdoor herb garden, here are the best herbs to put in it that will spice up your recipes and save you money at the checkout line.


Number one on our list is sweet basil. Basil can be chopped up into sauces and salads, or it can be used whole on pizzas and sandwiches. For a great snack, toss some olive oil with chunks of tomato, mozzarella, and chopped basil. It's the perfect combination of tangy, sweet, and refreshing. Basil is also great for making tea and has a strong and pleasant aroma. If you start running low, you can start a new plant with clippings from an old one. As you pick from the plant, be sure to remove the leaf node (the stem part of the leaf) fully so your plant keeps producing more leaves.


A good herb to pair with basil is parsley. It goes great with pasta dishes, sauce, pizza, or eggs. Like basil, parsley can be harvested as needed. Simply cut the outermost leaves for use and leave the inner leaves to mature. However, parsley is also easy to dry and store. To dry parsley, hang it up in a warm place that has plenty of shade and ventilation. Test it by seeing if it crumbles in your hand. Once it does, crumble the rest up and store it in an air tight jar.


Arguably one of the the prettiest herbs on the list, thyme fills its long stems with small flowers and fills the air with a pleasant scent. Thyme goes well with many vegetables and types of seafood and is also common in many teas. If you live in a temperate climate, you could also try growing some thyme as an ornamental and aromatic shrub in your yard.


As you would suspect, mint smells and tastes...minty. To impress everyone at your summer cookout, place some mint leaves from your garden into their ice cold drinks. Like many other items on the list, mint is also great in tea and can be paired up with basil, lavender, and many other herbs to make a great herbal tea concoction.


Lavender is another pretty flowering herb. However, due to its size, it's best grown outdoors. You can make several homemade items from lavender including soaps, fragrance sprays, tea, and more. However, be sure to read up on caring for lavender plants as they require a lot of sunlight and well-drained soil. To make use of its size and aesthetics outside, you can plant lavender along walkways in your yard or garden.

Tags: gardening   herbs   home   garden   mint   herb   herb garden   basil   parsley   thyme   lavender  
Categories: Home   Gardening   Garden   herbs   herb   herb garden   basil   parsley   thyme   lavender   mint  

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 1/28/2018

Everyone likes to keep their home smelling fresh. At the very least, it assures us that when our guests come they have a pleasant aroma that welcomes them into the home. However, fragrances can be beneficial in other ways.

Some are calming, while others stimulating and invigorating. They can help you set the tone you’re aiming for, whether it’s a relaxing bath or sitting down to get some work done in your office.

At one time, you didn’t have many options when it came to giving your home a pleasant fragrance. You could burn candles, which can be dangerous if you have children or pets running around. Or you could use a plug-in air freshener, which are expensive and smell artificial.

Recently, however, a third option has been gaining popularity--essential oil diffusers.

Essential oils have a number of uses. They’re in the cologne and perfume we spray on our bodies, they’re in the room spray we use to freshen up our homes, and they’re an ingredient in a number of other cosmetic and therapeutic products.

Many are said to have medicinal value, such as a decongestant or a sleep aid. Others are used simply because they smell great.

In this article, we’re going to talk you through using an essential oil diffuser in your home and what oils you might want to start with.

Methods of oil diffusion

There are a number of ways you can spread the aroma of essential oils in your home. One of the quickest and easiest ways is to put a drop or two of essential oils on a tissue and simply wave it around in the room.

For a more far-reaching effect, you’ll need to find a longer lasting way of diffusing the oils. Many people choose steam. You can either purchase a steam oil diffuser or just put a few drops into boiling water.

Another option is to use a heat source. You can buy tea light to heat the oils or, if you want to avoid open flames, buy an electric heat diffuser.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and if you’re new to essential oils, it might be a good idea to start small by simply buying a starter pack of oils, smelling them to see which you like, and putting a couple drops in a boiling pot of water or dabbing them on a tissue.

A note of caution: essential oils are strong. Getting them on your hands or clothing, especially if undiluted, can mean your hands or clothes smelling like that oil for several days. You should also avoid putting them near your eyes or mouth as many essential oils can be dangerous.

Which oils to use

Oils have a range of scents--floral, citrus, earthy, spicy, minty, and so on. Knowing which oil you want for a given scenario is a matter of preference and trial and error. However, there are several blends or “recipes” that people prefer.

Common pairings include:

  • Orange and peppermint

  • Lavender and lemon

  • Bergamot and patchouli

  • Basil and sage

  • Cypress and cedarwood

  • Lemongrass and eucalyptus

Tags: home   essential oils   fragrance   diffuse  
Categories: essential oils   fragrance   diffuse  

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 12/10/2017

Having different types of birds in your yard is a great way to add a bit of nature to your house. With their unique plumage and songs, birds will offer you interesting sights and sounds. However, you’ll need to offer them a few things in return. To attract a variety of birds to your yard you’ll need to make it the most desirable place in the neighborhood to be. Here’s a guide to help you attract a large variety of birds to your yard and to keep them coming back each year.

Choosing your feeders

When choosing a bird feeder there are a few traits your looking for. It should be strong enough to withstand the weather and sealed tightly to keep the seeds dry. You’ll want a feeder that is big enough to hold a variety of seeds and is relatively low-maintenance. Hanging tray feeders are the most common type, and for good reason. They attract a variety of birds and are easy to fill and clean. A good tray feeder has a drainage system in the tray to keep seeds dry, which means you should buy a feeder with a mesh bottom instead of solid. For nectar-seeking birds like hummingbirds, you’ll want a few small feeders rather than one large one. Keep it in a well lit area near some flowers to attract the hummingbirds. They’re attracted to bright colors to look for nectar and your fake-flower feeders will seem like a good source if they’re surrounded by the real thing. If you want to view birds from inside your home, window feeders are a great option. Window feeders suction right to your window and will offer you a close-up view of the birds who will slowly get used to you being on the other side of the glass.

Keeping the squirrels away

Putting out plenty of bird feeders won’t just attract birds. Squirrels, too love to eat the various seeds that are found in feeders. You have a couple options when it comes to squirrels. First, you can just accept them as part of the nature of your yard. They, too can be fun to watch and are just looking for something to eat like the birds. If inviting squirrels into your yard isn’t something you can live with, you could try deterring them with a squirrel baffle. Squirrel baffles wrap around the pole your feeder is on preventing the squirrel from climbing up to the tray. However, some crafty squirrels can still find their way through.

It takes more than seed

Just having bird seed isn’t enough to provide for birds. Having lots of trees and water is also a good way to keep the birds around. Bird baths are one option. But there are other creative ways to attract birds to your yard like a small natural pool or waterfall. Having a bubbler on your water source is also a great way to bring more birds to your yard as they will be attracted to the sound of the running water. Add these features to your yard and soon the local birds will find it an irresistible place to spend time.

Tags: home   bird feeding   yard   backyard   birds   feeder  
Categories: Home   backyard   yard   birds   feeder   bird feeding  

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 8/20/2017

A home with a small bathroom is a major turn-off for some potential home buyers. However, the reason they are displeased usually isn't about the size of the room itself, it's not being able to fit the features they want inside the room. Considering how many large objects are usually in bathrooms, you would think they would contain a lot of square footage. That's not the case, however, with many smaller homes. In this article we'll go over some tips for making the most of the space in your small bathroom, allowing you to fit more inside without making the room a claustrophobic nightmare.

Vertical space...

Use it. Most people forget that they're only using about half the the space around the perimeter of their bathroom. You can install shelving that extends over your toilet or along the top of one of the walls to store things like towels and extra rolls of toilet paper. Installing a large mirror with storage cabinets is another great way to take advantage of vertical space. You'll get extra storage, save floor space, and create the illusion of openness by having a large mirror in the room.

Sink space savers

The space around bathroom sinks is seldom used to its fullest potential. If you have a wall mounted sink you can install a rack underneath to hold towels, mouth wash, or other bulky items. If possible, use a rectangular shaped sink and mount it in the corner of the room. Narrower sinks open up more floor space, as does keeping it off to the corner.

Omit the tub

I've had an unopened container epsom salt sitting in my closet for years. I've been saying that I'll use the next time I take a bath, but who knows when that will be. If having a bath tub isn't necessary for you, go with a bathroom design that utilizes a stand-up shower instead of a bath tub.

Reach deep with sliding drawers

Instead of reaching behind boxes of Q-Tips and bottles of shampoo just to get your mouth wash, install sliding drawers that bring everything within reach. You can utilize a sliding drawer in any vacant corners or spaces in your room. Are there a few inches between your toilet and the wall? It might be a good place to install an extra storage unit that slides out.

Prepare your battle station

Kitchen design takes advantage of several space-saving and convenient decorating techniques that are often left out of the bathroom. Instead of stuffing your hair dryer and curling iron into a drawer or leaving them on the counter, install a holster rack designed just for those tools. Many good chefs keep their knives stuck to a magnet over the counter. You can utilize this technique in the bathroom as well. If you don't want to have your tweezers hanging on your wall for everyone to see, install the magnetic strip behind your mirror to keep them out of sight.    

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 2/12/2017

People often describe themselves as either a "city person" or "country folk" depending on their taste when it comes to where they like to spend their time. Usually, what they really mean is that they prefer either the busy or the quiet life. However, there's a lot more to choosing the best place to live besides just the number of neighbors you'll have. If you're trying to decide whether you want to buy a home in the city, live out in the country, or move to the suburbs where you get a little bit of each, this article will tell you everything you need to know to make the right choice.

Life in the city

If you grew up in a small town, odds are you always dreamed of someday living in the city. The busy streets, the tall buildings, and public transportation that you can take anywhere all make city life feel like one giant amusement park if you grew up in the country. However, there's a lot more to city life than just the bustling atmosphere.
  • Amenities. One of the main benefits of living in the city is easy access to most of the necessities of life. Depending on your location in the city you might be surrounded by hospitals, schools and grocery stores.
  • Entertainment. You'll never run out of things to do or new places to explore living in a big city.
  • Community and culture. In most large cities you'll find great diversity of cultures and values. If you're looking for a place you can identify with, odds are you'll find a community you can fit into within the city.
  • Cost of living. This varies between cities and states, but generally the cost of living goes up in the big cities with higher rent prices, more expensive groceries and dining options.
  • Traffic. You have to love being around other people if you live in a big city. Whether you're on the train or at the crosswalk, you'll always be within arms length of a group of strangers.

Country living

  • Privacy and sovereignty. If you like your alone time and the freedom to do what you want with the space you have, country life might be for you.
  • Peace and quiet. If you hate traffic jams and don't mind driving long distances to reach amenities, small town living could be a good fit.
  • Nature and space. Out in the country there's plenty of room to roam and to experience the local flora and fauna.

Suburban life

Life in the suburbs is meant to have the best features of the city and the country. Hopefully your town has a couple grocery stores and easy access to the highway to reach the nearest city. It will also have access to recreation parks. One downfall of suburban life is that you need to make the extra effort if you want to build the sense of community provided in the city or the connection to nature that comes with living out in the country. However, if you are the type to actively seek these out, suburban life could be the happy medium your life needs.

Tags: home   city   living   life   home living   country   suburbs  
Categories: Uncategorized