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Moving is Never Easy, but St. Louis is a Great Choice!

by Jaron Clinton

Moving isn’t a simple task, and choosing where you want to live next can sometimes be the hardest part of the process. If you’re looking for a new city that offers good schools, well-groomed parks, noteworthy public institutions, a strong corporate presence and plenty of craft breweries, then moving to St. Louis is an excellent choice.

The first reason to consider St. Louis is that living here isn’t actually too expensive. According to the Cost of Living Index Calculator, in 2010 the greater St. Louis area has the lowest cost of living among the nation’s 20 largest metropolises. Next, the city is well-known for its academic excellence. Even if you’re not attending one of these schools or don’t have children, you will still benefit from the city’s good school programs because they increase the value of your new home to families. The nearby cities of Clayton and Ladue have two of the most reputable and well-funded public school systems in the U.S., and the several colleges, including Washington University which is often ranked in the top 10 nationally. Plus, if you’re a recent college graduate then St. Louis is great for you because it has common high starting salaries and Forbes ranked St. Louis as the happiest city for job-seeking college grads in 2012.

Besides the obvious go-to factors of education and cost of living, St. Louis offers a much more subtle gift, which is literally giving. St. Louis has garnered a quiet, but well-earned reputation as one of the most charitable cities for how it treats its residents and visitors alike. The city is consistently ranked as one of the most charitable cities in the country, coming in ninth last year, and nearly one third of residents volunteer. St. Louis has placed a Victorian emphasis on artistic and cultural institutions as a way to elevate society, which includes the city’s zoo and museums, and consequently most of these are free of charge.

Central Park in New York City gets all the attention, but it really shouldn’t. St. Louis’s Forest Park beats it by miles. Offering nearly 1,300 acres of land that is used for in-line skating, biking, walking, running, golf, tennis, and other sports and activities. Plus, the park is home to five of the region's major institutions: the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center, the Missouri History Museum, and the Muny amphitheater. 

Labor Day Weekend

by Colleen Lawler

Although it sounds like we might be enjoying the remnants of a hurricane this weekend.  Given the drought conditions we have endured all summer, that's not all bad news.

Here's a link to things to do this weekend...remember, life is short and you only have so many chances to have fun, be happy and spend time with someone you care about!


A Vistor's Guide to Drving in St Louis

by Colleen Lawler

I received this as an email from my sister, who lives out of state...I think she is poking fun at us!  I wish I knew who authored this so that I could give proper credit.

If you live in St Louis you'll understand this.
If you've ever visited St. Louis you'll understand this.
If you've never been to St. Louis consider this your Visitor's Guide to Driving in St. Louis .

1. There are 75 "unofficial neighborhoods" in the City of St. Louis .  St. Louisans commonly give directions--especially for restaurants--to strangers based on these neighborhoods, which aren't marked on any maps that are handed out by the tourist board, the AAA or Mapquest.

2. There are 54 school districts--on the Missouri side alone--each of which has their own school bus system with scheduled times to block traffic.

3. There are 91 official municipalities in St. Louis County . Each municipality has its own rules and regulations, and often their own police departments.

4. More importantly, most have their own snow removal contracts so it's not uncommon to drive down a road in winter and have one block plowed, the next salted, the next piled with snow and the last partially cleared by residents wanting to get out of their driveways.

5. Snow plowing is never a problem in the City of St. Louis . They plow nothing, and if the forecast calls for snow, they close everything. Except on "The Hill" (refer to #1 above) where each homeowner goes out to the street and shovels out one car-sized rectangle and then stands watch over it.

6. Any car parked longer than 4 hours in the city is considered a parts store.

7. The City of Ballwin actually proposed that drivers use connecting strip mall parking lots to get from place to place rather than drive on Manchester road to cut the traffic on Manchester . (And for good reason. There is a stoplight at every intersection on Manchester ).

8. Laclede Station Road , McCausland, Lindbergh , Watson , Reavis Barracks, Fee Fee, McKnight, Airport Road , Midland , McKelvey, and Olive mysteriously change names as you cross intersections.

9. Gravois Road, Spoede and Chouteau can only be pronounced by St. Louis natives. (Highway 40 as is pronounced as "farty".)

10. A St. Louisan from South County has never been to North County and vise versa. West County just has everything delivered.

11. No native St. Louisan knows that Lindbergh runs from South County to North County . And if you tell them, they will not believe you.

12. Lindbergh belongs to every neighborhood except Kirkwood , who had the nerve to creatively change the name to Kirkwood Road ." (Which may be the reason for number 11.)

13. There are 2 interchanges to exit from Highway 40 onto Clayton Road and 2 for Big Bend . Stay alert, people!

14. If you need directions to O'Fallon , make sure to specify Illinois or Missouri . This is also true for Troy , Maryville , St. Charles , Springfield and Columbia .

15. The Page Avenue extension and Airport expansion projects took over 20 years to get approved. St. Louisans lost track of how many political figures claimed them as their own ideas.

16. St. Louisans were aghast when the federal government required them to redo the highway signs to indicate that the federal highways went to cities in other states instead of local municipalities.

17. Drivers are starting to cut their OWN plates rather than go through the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles to get new tags. You can also purchase tags from dealers behind Quick Shops in the city. They are cheaper, the clerks are nicer, and the service is faster.

18. Lambert Field and St. Louis International Airport really are the same place. The East Terminal, however, is a different place.

19. Highway 270 is our daily version of the NASCAR circuit.

20. You can go all four directions on Highway 270: North and South in West County , East and West in South County , and East and West in North County. Confused? So are St. Louis drivers.

21. The outer belt is Highway 270 which turns into Highway 255 in South County . The inner belt is Highway 170. Highway 370 is an outer-outer belt. Highway 40 is the same as Interstate 64 (but only through the middle part of St. Louis ). If you are listening to traffic reports and they are calling it 64, the traffic jam is in Illinois . If they are calling it 40, the traffic jam is in Missouri .

22. The morning rush hour is from 6:00 to 10:00 AM. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00 PM. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.

23. Never ever try to cross a bridge in St. Louis during rush hour unless you have a sack lunch and a port-a-potty in the car.

24. "Yield" signs are for decoration only. No native St. Louisan will ever grasp the concept. (Actually, the drivers who are supposed to yield will not, and the drivers who are not supposed to yield will wait politely for the ones who are supposed to yield, so it all works out.)

25. If someone actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect, or has been on for the last 17 miles.

26. Construction on Highways 40, 64, 70, 255, 270, 44, 55 and 170 is a way of life, and a permanent form of entertainment.

27. All blue-haired old ladies in Cadillacs driving on Olive west of 270 have the right of way.

28. If it snows or rains, stay home!!!!!!!!!!!!

29. It is called a rolling stop at any stop sign intersection. Only native St. Louisans can do it just right.

30. In West County, 20 cars will go through a yellow light. Longest yellow lights I have ever seen. If you slow or stop on a yellow light, you will get rear-ended or someone will angrily sound their horn at you.

Who Says There is Nothing to Do This Weekend in St Louis!

by Colleen Lawler

Time to start making some plans for the weekend!!  

Here is just a sampling of a few things you may want to check out! 

·         Gently Used Coats and Canned Food Collection at “Play Your Art Out” SLTRC Studio at 100 Chesterfield Mall

·         St. Louis Blues Hockey GameSaturday, January 21, 2012   St. Louis Blues vs. Buffalo Sabres. 7:00 p.m., (800) 745-3000 or (314) 622-5400

·         The Brothers: An Evening of Allman Brothers Music Date: Saturday, January 21, 2012 Venue: The Pageant   Featuring Danny Liston, Dave Klaz, Steve Pecaro, Dickie Steltenpohl, Harold Draper, Gabe Strange & Mark Kersten. 8:00 p.m., (800) 745-3000

·         Winter Jam 2012Date: Saturday, January 21, 2012 Venue: The Family Arena, (636) 896-4200 ·        FAMILY CULTURE DAYS
St. Charles, MO Sunday, January 22, 2012
Foundry Art Center, 520 N. Main Street
Experience displays by artists demonstrating fine art & traditional ethnic folk art. Art activities for children, ethnic food, and more..
For more information call 636-255-0270
  or visit

·         EAGLE WATCHING·         , Saturday, January 21, 2012
11 am - 2 pm
Fort Belle Fontaine Park
Spend a day with the Friends of Fort Belle Fontaine Park observing the bald eagles along the Missouri River. The World Bird Sanctuary will be on site from noon until 2 pm. A guided hike will be provided along the three-mile trail. Hikers and bikers are welcome to take the trek on their own throughout the day. Refreshments will be served. Be sure to dress for the weather and meet at the Grand Staircase.
For more information call 314-615-5270 ·         January 22, 2012
12 pm to 4 pm
National Great Rivers Museum
An educator from the World Bird Sanctuary will be on hand with a live eagle display in the classroom. Bring your camera to this free program and then tour the National Great Rivers Museum and the Locks and Dam.
Free, donations appreciated
For more information call 1-877-462-6979

This Weekend Around St Louis

by Colleen Lawler

·        Red Cross Blood Drive  Friday, Dec 9, 2011, 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM KSHE 95 St Louis College of Health Careers | West County ·

        Holiday ZootiqueFriday, December 9, 2011, 9:00 AM Shop in The Living World for unique gift ideas, ornaments and much more.·        The Rat Pack: Live at the Sands

  - The Fabulous Fox Theatre'The Rat Pack' brilliantly recreates the ultimate meeting of three legendary performers. In 1960, while filming the casino robbery caper 'Ocean's Eleven' in Las Vegas, Frank Sinatra got together a group of his closest buddies for impromptu concerts at the Sands Hotel. The Sands is no longer, and Frank, Sammy and Dean have left us, but 'The Rat Pack' transports you back to that moment in popular music history that has never been equaled.·       

Clint Black....Friday, Dec 9, 2011, 8:00 PM Lumiere Place | Downtown

        THE ONE-HOUR IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFEMagic Smoking Monkey Theatre presents a parody of the holiday classic...for audiences with short attention spans. Enjoy the...laughter, tears and heartwarming holiday fun as George Bailey battles the evil Mr. Potter and his army of orcs and trolls.
.Friday, Dec 9, 2011, 10:30 PM - 11:30 PM  LindenwoodUniversity·

         Ambassadors of Harmony Sounds of the Season  University of Missouri - St. Louis Social Sciences and... | Mid-County NorthAll Day,
A beloved St. Louis tradition. The first half of the show is an energetic look at the lighter side of Christmas. Then the chorus puts its heavenly harmonies on classic carols and songs. 8:00 p.m. (9-10), 2:00 p.m. (10-11), 7:00 p.m. (11), (314) 516-4949·        

Good VibrationsFriday, December 9, 2011, 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM A one-night art opening, Good Vibrations will feature work by twenty-one undergraduate artists majoring in sculpture at Washington University in St. Louis. Independently organized and curated by the sculpture majors, this exhibition is a culmination of their work from this past semester. The pieces shown will demonstrate an exploration of a variety of media and concepts. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the artists while enjoying food and drink.

       Sunday, Dec 11…. Noon – 4pmHoliday Photos (with or without) Santa (Pets or their Humans) – featuring Pamela Parker PhotographyOne Lucky Mutt & Happy Go Lucky Outfitters2414-16 Taylor Road – Wildwood, Mo 63040Sitting Fee: $10 / includes ONE photo(cash or check preferred)Order additional photos online – choose from a variety of poses and backgrounds

Christmas Tree Hunting And an Art and Crafts Fair and More!

by Colleen Lawler

Lafayette High School in Wildwood is holding the Lander Marketplace Arts and Crafts Fair Saturday December 3rd from 9 - 4, and Sunday December 4th from 11 - 4.

Celebrate the season at 3 local, women owned businesses that have come together to offer 15% off your entire purchase at each store.  The Dream house and Tea Room, Mary Tuttles, and Three French Hens.

Dine with Santa, Breakfast or Dinner!


If you are looking for a place to chop your own fresh Christmas tree, here are some farms near St Louis:

Heritage Valley Tree Farm  636-239-7479

1668 Four Mile Road, Washington Mo.  This family farm only takes cash and checks, so leave your credit card at home!  Open weekends until Christmas from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Brushy Fork Pines  636-668-6084

228 S Lindsay Road, Old Monroe, Mo.  Grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and kids run this family farm.  Open 9 a.m. to sunset weekends until Christmas.



This Weekend in St Louis has Something For Everyone!!

by Colleen Lawler

Whether you enjoy football, parades, shopping, or even a boxing match, there is something for you to do in St Louis this weekend besides sitting around eating leftovers!


This benefits an incredible organization called Backstoppers, which supports the families of fallen firemen and police.  Wednesday Noverber 23, at 7:00 at the Scottrade Center.



The biggest and best parade in the midwest, with floats, bands, storybook characters, carriages, equestrian units, and SANTA CLAUS.  An early start at 8:45, but the weather should be parade-perfect!  Check out the route at



2011 High School Chamoinships are November 25 and November 26 at the Edward Jones Dome., or call 314-241-1888 or 573-875-4880.



November 25 11 am - 2 pm, and lots of dates between now and Christmas Eve.  Carolers, white lights, and deocrations, shops and restaurants!



By car is warm and fun, by horse drawn carriage is really fun and pretty warm, make this one of your family traditions!  Several years ago we took friends visiting from Europe through Tilles park on a carriage ride...they got married and now have two wonderful boys...coincidence?  I think not!


Don't just sit there, get out and have some fun this weekend!!




How did the Garden Grow? Wildwood's First Community Garden

by Colleen Lawler

We all know there are a lot of unsung heroes in this world, and frankly, if we all sang about them a little louder and little more often, they'd maybe get a little of the thanks they truly deserve!

A group of Wildwood residents set about to have a community garden this year.  My husband Jack and I were lucky enough to get a small raised bed and grow tomatoes that were safe from bunnies and deer.

Since I wrote about the beginning of the garden, it's only fair to let you know how the year went!

At a garden meeting early in the year, one of the other gardeners, much wiser than I, said that eggplant is tough to grow.  Well, we grew one!  (just one :-)

Tomatoes and green peppers and even some watermelons, but mostly I grew to respect the people that started this venture and made it more than a garden.  It is a place to learn about everything from dirt and bugs, to how much time good people will invest into an idea that has so much potential!

So,  a big thank you to Tim Woerther, Joe Vujnich, Liz Montalbano, and sweet Cindy Wright.  Wildwood is a better place because of you!

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

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Contact Information

Photo of Colleen Lawler & The IrvineTeam Real Estate
Colleen Lawler & The IrvineTeam
Coldwell Banker Gundaker
111 Chesterfield Towne Centre
Chesterfield MO 63005
Office: 636-391-2100
Toll Free: 800-791-3276
Fax: 636-536-3018