Home is More Important Than Ever
Here on our blog, we write about the buying and selling of homes often. It is what we know, what we do, and what we share. But the concept of what a home means to our families and us is also an important topic.
We frequently refer to home as a safe haven, a place where we share joys and sorrows, raise our children, and plan how to make our dreams for the future come true. So after we help you find the perfect home, we also offer advice on how to make it the safe, comfortable place you want for your family. Now that is more important than we would have imagined just a short time ago.
It’s difficult today to read or hear the news without the words Coronavirus and social distancing being part of the conversation. Schools have closed, and the kids are home. With most social events and activities canceled, retired seniors are staying home too. Those not employed in essential services are mostly working from home.
The structure of both our professional and private lives has changed rapidly. We are told to expect this new norm to continue for weeks and, yes, perhaps even months. We can brood,...
13 Ways to Embrace Hygge
When the Weather is Frightful, Hygge is Delightful
As the cold weather settles across the nation, the holiday season is close behind. There is no better time of year to adopt and practice hygge. Hygge? What? For those unfamiliar with the term, hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a lifestyle that embraces simple pleasures like warmth, coziness, good food, enjoying family, friends, and home. First practiced and identified as a “thing” by our friends in Denmark. It’s no wonder Danes are among the world’s happiest humans on earth.
For we who live in the higher latitudes, or as I like to call it, the arctic tundra, embracing hygge can make us happier as we move through the winter months of biting cold and limited daylight. Even those who have never heard of hygge probably practice it. Do you warm up with a cup of hot cocoa after you shovel snow from the walkway? That’s hygge. When you snuggle under a down comforter on a chilly winter morning, hygge again. Or if you enjoy dinner, a glass of wine and conversation with family and friends, you are practicing hygge.
Good stuff, right? If you are intrigued and want more ways to incorporate hygge into your life, I have 13 great suggestions to inspire you.
1. Light a Candle
Burning fragrant scented candles will fill your home with a calming aroma. The warm, soft glow is relaxing and brings a cozy vibe to your living space.
2. Embrace the Season
Take in the beauty of winter. Pull on your boots, grab your mittens, and go for a walk in the new-fallen snow. The air...
How to Have a Spooktacular Halloween!
Here at House Houghton, Halloween is a favorite holiday. The excitement is building with my four boys and even the family dog wants in on the act. One of the best things about it in the Twin Cities is the celebration is ongoing for the entire month of October. There are events in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding suburbs to suit every age and scare quotient. For some of us diehard fans of this delightfully spooky event, we never grow too old to embrace it and as we reach mid-October, the plans for a fast approaching Halloween get serious.
Halloween conjures up images of haunted houses, black cats, jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, goblins, and witches flying around on broomsticks. Costume choices range from satisfying our alter ego and dressing as a favorite character from history, choosing something traditional like a witch or ghost, or going more trendy and masquerading as someone currently in the public spotlight. Decisions! Decisions! Then when the costume is chosen where to go and what to do. In the Minneapolis-St. Paul Twin Cities metro, there are so many options ranging from fun and spooky to those that are looking to be blood-curdling terrified! Wherever your spooky-meter registers, we have suggestions for you. Here are some great activities aimed at delivering the best Twin Cities...
Ahh June - the portal to Summer! Step into June and the entire glorious season of warmth and sunshine is beneath our feet, stretching out before us. June is weddings, kids out of school, family vacations, cooking on the grill and baseball. June is bright blossoms exploding with bursts of color from the flower beds and strawberries melting with sweetness on the vine. I love that June is comfortable, warm but not hot and we are beckoned to the golf course, tennis courts, and favorite biking and walking trails.
Summer in the Twin Cities is all that and more. Summer inspires us to celebrate with great music, art, food, drink, festivals and fairs. After a long winter are we ever ready! So without further fanfare (because I could go on for pages extolling the virtues of June) let’s take a look at what is happening on the sidewalks of Minneapolis-St. Paul this month.
Celebrate June – Celebrate Art
The 50th Annual Edina Art Fair
Friday June 3 through Sunday June 5, 50th and France, Edina Minnesota
It’s February, the last complete, official month of winter. This first week of the month brought with it a foot of snow to the Twin Cities, and the first significant accumulation of the white stuff so far this winter. Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow even though we know here in Minnesota we have 6 more weeks of winter. Valentine's Day arrives on the 14th and on the 22nd we celebrate our great Presidents. February is also designated as Black History Month, American Heart Month, and Chocolate Lovers Month.
Let’s take a look at what is going on in our beautiful Twin Cities Metro this month as we decide how and where to celebrate.
Hey Minneapolis and St Paul, what are you doing this month?
November is the month that falls right smack in the middle of fall. In addition to the bounty of the season, we have a couple of holidays to celebrate this month. November 11 is Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor the brave men and women who have served our country by their service in the military.Thanksgiving on November 26 is the day we gather with family and friends to watch the Macy's Day Parade and football, as well as to eat too much turkey and pumpkin pie. The day following is Black Friday and although it is not technically a holiday many people have the day off work and it is the busiest shopping day of the entire year kicking off the biggest shopping season of the entire year.
Now that we have the holidays accounted for, let’s take a look at some weekend events going on in the Metro and celebrate this great month.
Sunday November 8
Join the Walker Art Center in celebrating its 75th anniversary. Visit the McGuire Theater for the Object Lesson, part of the Walker’s Immerse Yourself series. In this comically moving one-man show, award-winning actor Geoff Sobelle transforms the stage into an immersive and immense performance-installation that unpacks our relationship with everyday...
If you think Labor Day marked the end of summer, I am going to have to disagree. Officially the last day of summer is not until the Autumnal Equinox on September 23rd. The weather should remain warm and pleasant at least through the end of the month. So let's take summer for all she is worth, shall we? Let's enjoy each day as it comes and plan to enjoy the sights, sounds, and foods of summer until they and she (I always think of summer as female) are gone.
In case you need some inspiration, here are a few suggestions for ways to celebrate and savor the last weeks of summer.
Taste of Summer Bounty
Enjoy the fruits and fresh veggies of the season for as long as they last. Grill some corn, throw together a fresh, crispy and healthy salad with native vegetables or cut open a ripe, juicy, refreshing watermelon. Here are some great ways to grill fresh corn on the cob I found on Real Simple.
Hot August night and the leaves hanging down and the grass on the ground smelling sweet- Neil Diamond
August is the last hurrah of summer. The kids head back to their classrooms in a few weeks as we hear a large collective sigh of relief from parents throughout the Metro. But before that happens, we have the entire month of hot August days and nights ahead of us. Summer celebrations continue across Minneapolis and St. Paul, with some of the summer’s most popular events happening this month.
Many people look forward to August for The Fringe Festival and the State Fair, two great events that occur in the Twin cities and are nationally recognized. For others, August is about squeezing the last drop out of summer by playing golf every weekend, listening to one last concert in the park or taking that day trip to the Eagle Refuge in Wabasha you had planned.
Just in case your August bucket list is not full, here is a sampling of art, music, and fun going on in our beautiful Twin Cities Metro this month.
Let's Hear It for July
It’s July in Minnesota and Twin Cities Metro folk couldn’t be happier! We hate to brag, but seriously, our summers are fabulous! Everywhere we look the landscape is bursting with color. Flower beds are strutting their stuff, geraniums and petunias are outgrowing the confines of their window boxes and daylilies are spots of color on a green background of lush lawns.
July music and magic are in the air. Fairs, festivals, art, concerts, food and drink await us from one end of the Metro to the other! Here is a short list that piqued my interest for this month. Hope they give you some ideas and help make this summer the best since Grandma won the Blue Ribbon for her apple pie at the state fair!
The Minneapolis Pops - Every Weekend in July
Can you believe it? This year marks the 66th year our own Minneapolis Pops has been providing free concerts in the Twin Cities. Every year I look forward to this well-performed music at the Lake Harriet Bandshell. Concerts begin at 7:30 pm on Saturday and 5:30 pm on Sunday and they are free. Pack a picnic basket and arrive early for dinner al fresco and a choice spot for the concert. Visit the Minneapolis Pops online...
June is Bustin' Out All Over
June is bustin’ out in the Twin Cities, and the moon is shining on our beautiful lakes and rivers! We have a lot to celebrate! The entire summer spreads out ahead of us, and we are enjoying more daylight than any other month of the year. The weather is warm but isn't hot and the June nights are made for romance! It’s green as far as the eye can see except for the flower beds bursting with colorful blooms. June is roses, strawberries melting with sweetness on the vine, weddings, the ending of the school year, cookouts, baseball, and the beginning of summer with the Solstice occurring on Sunday, June 21.
The citizens of Minneapolis-St. Paul are celebrating the kickoff of summer in grand style. There is certainly no shortage of activities and things to do in the Metro this month. Fairs, festivals, art, music, food, and drink, abound from one end of the Twin Cities to the other. Here is the short list of events that intrigue me and of course, I want to share.
It’s All About the Art
The 49th Annual Edina Art Fair
Friday, June 5 through Sunday, June 7, 50th and France, Edina Minnesota
The first official art fair...
Tra La, It's May!
May in the Cities
It’s May in the Twin Cities Metro, and spring is busting out all over! And what a spring it is! Not a kinda spring, or a sorta spring as we are known to experience most years here, but it’s an honest to goodness spring! The days are warm but not hot, perfect weather for planting a garden. We are enjoying lots of sunshine, the grass is green, the trees are wearing leaves, daffodils, magnolias and even a few tulips are in bloom at the Arboretum. If you doubt me, check out the bloom report or better yet, head out to Chanhassen and see for yourself. Having witnessed the Tulips in bloom in previous years, I can tell you the display is magnificent and will not disappoint!
Mother’s Day is just ahead, and we are looking forward to Memorial Day at the end of the month which many consider the official kickoff of summer. We are planning our gardens, and some overachievers have begun planting. Gardening for me is low key these days since all I only have a small deck, but the outdoor furniture is washed, the wind chimes hung, the garden lights...
Winter Sings the Blues
Being in the doldrums has been a condition of my life every winter since childhood. Can you relate? Are you experiencing cabin fever? Are these cold winter nights looming long, with the adults feeling bored and the kids restless? What to do, what to do! How about a throw-back evening? Light up the fireplace, pop some corn and check out my 7 old-fashioned ideas re-purposed suggestions for family night. Did I mention television or computers are not allowed?
1. Get out the Monopoly
Remember when Parker Bros and Milton Bradley were the “names” in board games? Many of the old favorites are still around like Monopoly, Life, Yahtzee, Jenga, Clue, Risk, Sorry, Scrabble and Battleship. Revive those enduring games of Checkers, Chess, Backgammon and Dominos. Invite some friends and neighbors to join in for an evening of Charades. You can find all these games and more on ...