Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Home Tour-Main Floor

Welcome to our home!  We have a 2002 modified two-story, which has an open floor plan.  This is excellent for entertaining; however, we do not get to entertain as much as we'd like. 

Here is a quick glance at the main floor in our home.  Since we moved in, we have painted almost every surface of this house and recently had new carpet installed.  We are flirting with the idea of painting our trim white, getting new light fixtures, refinishing our floors in a darker stain, and updating our kitchen.  Our list is always growing...!

Formal Room

Dining Room


Family Room

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Home Tour- Exterior

Aaron & I purchased our home in February of 2010. It's crazy how 5 years have flown by! We have done quite a bit of work within the interior and still have a wish list a mile long for our exterior projects...and now our interior again. 

It's spring time and our yard is still a work in progress but here are a few pictures of our home. 

Front of the house 

We have have painted the porch, removed trees, had a new roof, and installed a new front door.  Next on the list is to change out the light fixtures and update our round columns into square columns. The rocket ship window above our front door sets up apart from others in the neighborhood.  :/ You should see it lit up at night. Blast off!  Can you tell that I am not too fond of it???

This is a picture taken from a couple of years ago because when I attempted to take a picture this evening...well, this happened.
Talk about a photo bomb!  Thanks Stan!

A dose of cuteness mixed with new friendship and memories

This weekend we had a birthday party near Albertville and stopped by the outlet afterwards. Evie is on a dress kick and growing like a weed, so off to Gymboree we went!

Evie met a new friend at Gymboree named Kara and they were running around just owning the place. It appeared as if Kara had Downs Syndrome but the beautiful thing about their interaction was that it did not matter one bit. They were giggling and chatting like old friends. They had the same taste in dresses and wore the same size. They were comparing dresses and Kara even helped us pick one out and we even found Kara a new dress. They ended up getting matching striped blue dresses. 

At the end of our shopping excursion, Kara and Evie decided they wanted to help check-out. The most patient, kind and motherly women behind the counter let them exactly do that. Which made the girls day! Literally, Evie had the complete sales associate experience.  She got to scan her clothes, press buttons on the computer, and take a penny out of the cash register. Luckily, we were the only ones in the store; otherwise, we would have caused a very long line.

Although our experience was only around 15 minutes long with energetic Kara and the amazing sales associates, it made a lasting memory with us. Fast friendships can happen when you are not expecting it.  

Oh and by the way...Evie now thinks she can check us out at every store and looks for Kara each time. We have to remind her that she is a Gymboree designated employee and hopefully some day our paths will cross with Kara's again. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

A trip around town...

Welcome to Forest Lake, MN!  

My halfway point to Duluth.  Now let me explain.  As a little girl, we frequently went up to Duluth to visit family.  Growing up in Shakopee, I always was excited when we passed Forest Lake on 35 since I considered it "almost" to Duluth.  Ha!  Little did I know, my prince charming resided here.

I have called Forest Lake (aka FLake) officially my home since 2010.  Aaron has called it his home for the majority of his life. We are also very blessed to have family still in town. Prior to purchasing our home in Forest Lake, we resided in Hugo for 4 years.  We technically still reside in Hugo since we are life-long landlords to the town home I purchased in 2006...or until the market flips back.  

Here are some pictures for those of you who call Forest Lake your half-way point to Duluth or just have not been fortunate enough to visit.  :)

One of our favorite spots in the summertime.  Arts in the Park is a local festival every Tuesday night, which has bands, food, and local vendors.

The high school is under a mile away from our house.  Aaron works here, and let me tell you he has a stressful commute.

Big Marine Park is an awesome, serene place to bring the kiddo's.  There is a "big" kids park, along with a little kid's area.  And yes, Evie just went down that enormous slide.

A view of Forest Lake
And Ev wanted to make sure I added this last picture.  She is mildly obsessed with Big Apple Bagel.  :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Parenting Fail

I had to quick share a MAJOR parenting fail moment.  Actually, I tend to have quite a few of them, so perhaps this will be a continuing topic.

All I can say is Bravo will likely be banned at my house now by my husband.  My evening went a little like this...

This evening the girls and I returned from grocery shopping and I quick turned on the TV to surprise, surprise Bravo.  The Real Housewives was on and I didn't think too much about it and what could be happening.  I was somewhat watching it, multi-tasking like usual and Evie & Nora were busy playing with their dolls.  Well needless to say, I should have watched closely because this came out of Ev's mouth when Aaron walked in...

"Hey Daddy!  Take your shirt off and smack your booty like on TV!" ---Said my 3 1/2 year old!!!

My eyes widened and I did not say a word.  Aaron's eyes literally burned through the back of my head. The word I kept saying in my head was..."Oh S#*T!" Thank goodness I didn't say that out loud because she would have an awesome new word to add to her recent statement.  I realized there likely was a moment where the housewives were dancing with a male dancer (sounds better than stripper).  I had no fricken idea that Evie was watching.  Gone are the days where I can mindlessly watch TV.  In the meantime, I have no idea how I am going to explain this to daycare. :/

Baby/Toddler Must Haves...

So I am in the midst of toddler-hood with my 2nd right now.  It is amazing what you might love for one kiddo, but then it does not do the trick for the next.  Most of these are baby items but here are the consistent items that I think are must have's for a baby/toddler.

First & foremost, I love our baby monitor.  It is critical for my sanity.  It also helps me know when I really actually need to go into the bedroom or not.  We still have one in Evie's room since she can be a sneaky escape artist.

I absolutely adore our co-sleeper for both of the girls.  It is a safe way to co-sleep.  And when your little one is cluster feeding at night, it helps everyone get a bit more sleep.  My girls both slept in this for around the first 4-5 months of their lives.

Next on the list is the rock n' play.  Great for naps or just a baby hammock to move around the house.  This is awesome when your little one is congested.

Speaking of congested, here is a fan favorite. Step right up...and suck up the snot from your kiddo's nose.  Appealing, right??? I promise it does not get into your mouth.  :)  Nora suffered from constant ear infections and runny noses, and this is such a help.  It looks so gross, I know, but it is amazing how much relief it brings your little one.
Speaking of congestion, I love a good cool mist humidifier in the girls bedroom.

Continuing with the congestion theme (and reflux), is an awesome wedge to put under the mattress to help elevate your baby's head.

When my girls sleep, they love this white noise machine.

Both of my girls have sensitive skin, and this product from Aveeno is amazing. 

We are also a huge fan of aquaphor in this house.

We love baby carriers.  It is so great when you are out and about with a fussy baby or if you are trying to multitask. Look how chunky Nora was (and still kind-of is)!

Rubber ducky bath's are our friend at bath time when they just start sitting up on their own and do not have the best balance.

The Gro Egg is an awesome little temperature monitor for your baby's room.  It changes color if it is too hot or too cold.

A good double post here of our little Nora.  A light multi-purpose blanket that you can use for swaddling is awesome.  Also, as a nursing mom, I love my boppy.

Last but not least, it is critical for us to have a good double stroller.  We actually have two of them right now used for different things.
This is our go-to stroller.

However, this is our Baby Trend sit and stand.  You can remove the green insert and it is a bench for Evie.  If you take our the carseat, you will have a normal forward facing seat for your baby.

My list is long and pretty practical.  I could go on and on, but will stop here.  

Somewhere I'd love to move or visit...

I have had the opportunity to live and visit some amazing places.  Many places felt as if they were good vacation destinations, while others felt more like home.

New York, New York...oh how I love everything about you!  Granted, I know the grass is always greener on the other side (and NYC nearly has any grass), but I absolutely ADORE New York.  The hustle-bustle, go-go-go mentality, shows, shops, history, and  culture are right up my alley.  Oh...and the people-watching.  That might be the best part about New York.  Aaron and I have been there a couple of times, and my favorite thing is to hang out in the residential area's and just watch others.  Not creepy watch, more inquisitive.  :)  While I have always said, I would love to be a high-end realtor working in NYC, I know that I would likely miss my green grass and space.

The next place that Aaron and I have talked about missing quite a bit is Charleston, SC.  We lived there for about 4-5 months 10 years ago, when Aaron played for the South Carolina Stingrays.  The charm of that city is indescribable.  We lived right downtown and our evening walks consisted of walking near the ocean and spotting dolphins swimming by or window shopping in downtown Charleston.  We would love to potentially live or retire here someday, maybe have a vacation home?

(This is the apartment building we lived in.  We were facing Colonial Lake (not a lake to a traditional MN girl...more like a man made pond.)
And this was our view!  There were amazing historic homes around the lake.  I think we even have a similar picture of this up in our living room.

Now on a realistic level, if we were to move anywhere in the Twin Cities, Aaron and I absolutely love the charm of Stillwater.  We are torn if we'd want to be in the city or surrounding country, but if we were to move out of our current town, we'd likely call this place our home.

Monday, April 13, 2015

What I am looking forward to...

What am I looking forward to?  Ruttger's 2015! As a little girl, my family and I went up to Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge every August.  We got to bond as a family and build life-long friendships with other families, while relaxing the day away.

Take a peek at this picture from when I was around the awkward age of 13/14.  Lindsay, in the middle, is one of my great friends that I met up there.

Aaron and I have been heading up to Ruttger's for the last 3 years, and this year our Forest Lake group of friends is coming with us.  Twelve adults, three preschoolers, and six 1 year olds...our hands are going to be full but with this group we will have an absolute blast.  Bring on a day at the spa, evening, Bingo, eating amazing food, and laying out at the pool!

Last year, we went up with the Forsythe family.  Here are pictures from Ruttgers 2014.

Friday, April 10, 2015

An old picture...

Prior to having kiddo's, Aaron and I traveled out of state quite a bit to experience new adventures.  New York is one of our favorite places to visit and definitely on our to-do list in the near future.  Here is a picture of Aaron and I from August 2009. I would love to go to New York in November when the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller is up.