From the category archives:

Things to Do


Love the colors at the Kate Spade store in the Galleria. If you get a chance to do some high-end shopping,  visit the amazing shops in Edina.  Think luxury,  luxury, luxury!


Parade of Homes Fall 2013

Dream Home by Nor-Son, Inc in Chanhassen

If you have been wanting to get out of the house to see some really beautiful homes, then don’t waste anymore time. This is the final week of the Fall 2013 Parade of Homes, which runs until Sunday, September 29th. The Remodeler Showcase is also this week, running Friday through Sunday.

I stopped by one of the Dream Homes last week in Chanhassen, and it is definitely one I would recommend viewing. The interior design and decor might be more Northern Minnesota, but it was nice to see something different in the Twin Cities. The home owner obviously hunts, what with all the stuffed animals in the lower level, but they fit nicely with the theme of the home. Luxury radiates from the master suite, and the kitchen is stunning. My favorite space by far is the outdoor screened in patio. I could sit out there all night (and so could my husband) and enjoy the wood burning fire, sipping on some wine. Check it out…I’m sure you’ll love it too!


Lake of the Isles in Summer

Downtown Minneapolis from Lake of the Isles, Summer 2013

It’s amazing how many beautiful areas there are in Minneapolis, and in the summer, the Chain of Lakes is one of the hot spots in town. Minnesotans can take a stroll or bike around the three lakes, Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun, or Lake Harriet, canoe, paddle board, sail, and more! And all this with the Minneapolis skyline as a backdrop even though it feels like you are NOT in the city.


You may not be in the market for a new home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy looking at other people’s homes and possibly finding your “dream” home. Of course your dream home will most likely be out of your price range, but hey, that’s why it’s called a dream home!

  • Fall Parade of Homes – while I personally feel there should only be one Parade Tour each year, instead of two, for the next couple of weekends you can peruse through the model homes of local builders. The Tour runs from September 8th-30th and is open Thursday-Sunday from Noon-6pm. The last weekend also features the Remodelers Showcase which is open Friday 1-7pm and Sat-Sun from Noon-6pm.
  • Homes by Architects Tour – The AIA Minnesota is putting on its 5th Architects Home Tour featuring 16 new and remodeled homes located throughout the Twin Cities, greater Minnesota and western Wisconsin, all designed by registered architect members of the American Institute of Architects Minnesota. Some of these homes are not in the Metro, so if you want to see a specific home, expect a drive and plan your day accordingly. The tour runs September 22-23,  10am-5pm.
  • Summit Hill Association House Tour – if you love historic homes, than don’t miss this tour in St. Paul. It always has amazing homes featured that you just don’t get to see very often and is only on for one day, September 9th, Noon-6pm.


If you are a lover of art and looking for something to do next weekend, then make sure to check out three great art festivals happening in Minneapolis.

  • In downtown Minneapolis, the Loring Park Art Festival is on August 6 & 7th featuring over 140 artists. When your done, feel free to stroll across to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden or visit the Walker Art Center.
  • The 20th annual Powerhorn Art Fair is also August 6 & 7th with over 180 artists showing their talent.
  • Not too far away is the Uptown Art Fair near Lake Calhoun. This was is much larger, with over 350 artists, and runs August 5-7th. Many of my clients love this fair having art pieces hanging in their homes purchased from local artists.

Getting to all three, if you can make it that long, doesn’t have to be difficult. Metro Transit is offering a free weekend ArtPass on LRT and bus lines, so you can park and ride all day long!


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If you forgot about the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Lake Minnetonka Luxury Home Tour, aka the Twin Cities, then you have one more weekend to get off the couch and out of the house to view some major architectural homes for sale. Half of the homes surround Lake Minnetonka, and the rest are mostly in Edina, Prior Lake, Credit River Township, so there should be no excuse that the homes are too spread out.

If you have been on the tour in the past few years, you might have already visited a few of the homes as they are repeats, but hey, sometimes it’s fun to keep dreaming. I have always like the home in Credit River Township, so it might be interesting to see it again, but I know I just have to visit the home on Palmer Pointe in Minnetrista.

Tickets cost $20 at Caribou Coffee, or $25 at the luxury homes, but if you only want to see one or two of them, you can always just go the $5 route for each single home. Let me know which homes you liked the best!


If you are looking for a place to view fall color around the state of Minnesota, a great place to check out is the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website. They update what is happening around the state, and give a lot of information on how/what causes the leaves to change color. Typical peak color for the Twin Cities area is Late September to Mid October.


Save the date to tour homes in the Twin Cities designed by licensed architects and brought to you by the AIA Minnesota chapter. Set for one weekend only, the tour is open September 19-20 from 10 am – 5 pm. Tickets are available online for $25.

This year twenty homes will be on the tour giving attendees the chance to view architectural design and how it can make the difference in a home. Thankfully, the planners have grouped the homes in a way so people can see homes that interest them:

  • “City Growers” features homes in Minneapolis
  • “Love of the Landscape” includes homes sensitive to the landscape surrounding them
  • “Lofty Spaces” feature three lofts in Minneapolis and one in Saint Paul
  • “Green Ideas”
  • “Entertaining Spaces”
  • “Craftsmanship” highlights details in design, woodwork and more
  • “Suburban Redo” lets visitors see how a home can transform from the original design

The tour is comprised of 14 architectural firms from the Twin Cities, varying from 1-50 person offices. It is meant to show visitors the range in talent available and how architectural design can span small jobs to luxury masterpieces.


The Mississippi River is the most famous river in the United States. You might think the river looks the same everywhere, but the Upper Mississippi (above St Louis) is very different from the Lower Mississippi (below St Louis). What you might ask is the major difference? Well, starting just below St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, the lock and dam system begins and continues until you reach St Louis. There are also areas of high bluffs that flank each side, which have been carved away over the centuries, and offer fantastic views, too.

The locks and dams have created a series of pools between each other, with the dams being placed at a shallow spot on the main channel in order to raise the low water level to nine feet or more. Contrary to some rumors, the dams were not built to control floods. Actually, when the water is extremely high, all dam gates must be pulled completely out of the water!

What we now have is one main channel for navigation and a system of backwaters in which you will find some great fishing opportunities. Any time of day you will be able to see barges traveling up and down with their goods, and maybe even catch one in a lock. Since the river can vary in depth, a system has been created to show barge captains and boaters where they should travel. Red floats will always be on the east side of the river, while green floats are on the west. Sometimes, where the main channel is close to shore, a diamond marker will be located on the shore for visual navigation. Stay between these floats unless you are very familiar with the pool you are in.

What makes the river fun is the ability to visit small river towns. Most have a marina where you can dock for a short while, get gas, and explore. There are also many spots available to lay anchor and enjoy the day on a beach or sand bar. Overnight camping is allowed in most places and is a popular past time during holidays.

Whatever you do, be sure to have a great time, whether it be fishing, boating, camping, or exploring. Just remember to enjoy the beautiful landscape nature has given us and be safe at the same time. The river has many hidden dangers so be prepared with life jackets and a first aid kit. On the mighty Mississippi, you might learn just how mighty it really is!


A great way to enjoy your summer is to catch a Saint Paul Saints game. Last night we attended a game and the kids just loved it. Seating is good no matter where you sit, and there is plenty of food options to please any appetite. You will also get to enjoy a game outside, as all baseball games should be played, and not have to sit in a loud dome like with the Twins. If your kids love trains, they can catch a few as they go past the outfield in the middle of the game.