Archive for the ‘Pictures’ Category

The Great Minnesota Get Together

Since we’re not city-dwellers, my family doesn’t get to make it to the Minnesota State Fair every year.  But every year that we do is as memorable as the last.  Here are some pictures from the past couple:

Come One, Come All

Wild Horses

One of the cheapest and most entertaining things to do: The SkyRide.  Rest your weary legs and check out the fair from the top.

Sky Ride

The View From Up Here

Real-Life Farmville

A trip to the fair would never be complete without a bucket of cookies from Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar.  Always worth the wait.

Oh, Sweet Martha...



Without Snow, Frost Will Do

Frosty Trees in Fish Lake Regional Park (Copyright A Hollen)

This is quite possibly the strangest winter I’ve experienced in a while.  Coming from a midwestern girl, that’s saying a lot.  This morning we woke up to a heavy frost from the melting and fog we’ve had.  It looked like it had snowed and at this point, we’ll take what we can get.  Every twig on every tree was frosted and glistening in the sun that was pushing through every crack it could find in the clouds.  As I went about my day, from snapping pictures at the North Branch Polar Plunge to showings in Sunrise and Shafer, I was greeted with a glittering, gorgeous landscape. Then the sun finally made its debut, and infected every soul with Spring Fever.  It’s only the beginning of February and I’m dodging mud puddles and questioning whether it’s safe to go out on the ice.  Of course I know that there are technically two long months left of winter and that at any given time, we could be buried under feet of snow.  But for now, this feels like the longest spring we’ve ever had. 

Working in North Branch

Welcome to North Branch (Copyright)I am frequently asked why I chose to work in North Branch when I live in (and love) Cambridge, where there are other real estate brokerages.  The answer is simple:  I love my office

 North Branch, Sunrise Trail (Copyright)

When I was first getting started in this business, I did interview at brokerages in Cambridge, then I called Jacquie Krismer at the North Branch Edina Realty Office.  When I walked in, I could immediately tell things were going to be different here.  Jacquie was not only the sweetest and most loveable managing broker I’d met, but she knew her stuff.  She knew what it would take for a new agent to get going and Edina Realty had the tools I needed to do so.  

Central Park, Grain Mill, North Branch MN (Copyright)

She also asked me questions that no other broker had.  “Why do you want to be in real estate?”  This was an important question, because my prior work history wasn’t really sales-based.  Leading up to real estate, it was mostly analytical, paperwork type stuff, design, construction or jobs where my sole purpose was to care for others.  I didn’t want to get into real estate to SELL, I wanted to get into it because the thought of helping people make the biggest purchase of their lives made me happy.  Because I come from a family that values real estate.  Because I have a good knowledge of houses – from building to decorating.  Because I’m good with paperwork and with helping people.  Other brokers saw my history as a weakness, Jacquie showed me that it is a strength.  It takes all kinds, as they say.  Some buyers and sellers need an agent who will give them a push.  Some need an agent like me, who is there to research, assist and offer my expertise. 

Getting to be who I want to be – not the vision someone else has for me –
makes me LOVE my job. 

North Branch, MN Central Park

On top of all this, I work with some amazing people at this office.  Our office administrator, Connie, is a wealth of knowledge and reason and helps keep all the agents in our office organized and on track.  The other agents here welcomed me with open arms and offered to help with anything I needed, they didn’t guard themselves against me as competition like many agents might.  I feel like I BELONG at this office and at this company.  Even though we agents are self-employed, Edina Realty treats us like we are an integral part of the company – of the Edina Realty family.  I knew when I walked in that this would be my “home” and years later, I still plan to keep it that way. 

Edina Realty North Branch Office (Copyright)

Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that our North Branch office is directly across the street from beautiful Central Park. And that there are a LOT of places to grab lunch in town.  😉

North Branch, MN Central Park (Copyright)

I plan to be a part of Edina Realty and the North Branch Community for a LONG time. 


Christmas Lights in Cambridge, MN

Growing up in the midwest with our long winters and short days, I have an incredible appreciation for Christmas lights.  Those beautiful twinkling lights make it almost bearable that it gets dark shortly after the kids get out of school in the afternoon.  I’m lucky to live in a neighborhood that goes ALL OUT with their outdoor decorations.  It makes me feel better about not having time to get my outdoor decorations up & makes me smile every time I drive down my street.  There are some other neighborhoods in Cambridge, Minnesota that go big on their decorations, too.  “Goldenwood” has a history of being lit up at Christmastime.  That’s where we found this home:


This year, Mike Patten at 33617 6th St NE, Cambridge put on a show that I hope will become Cambridge tradition.  He programmed all his exterior lights to go along with Christmas music playing on a radio frequency.  He invited the public to park outside his home several times a night – every night from early December to Christmas – to watch the show for free.  He placed a donation bin in his driveway to collect food and money for our local food shelf, Family Pathways Food Pantry.  According to the Cambridge Community Facebook Page, Patten was able to raise 596 lbs of food and roughly $500 for the food pantry.  He gave residents something fun and inexpensive to do while also helping to feed the community…a pretty selfless act, considering the running cars that lined his street most nights and the time he invested into the project.  Below is a link to a clip of the show, the quality isn’t great, but it does showcase just a small portion of his hobby coming to life.  I hope we’ll have this to look forward to next season, along with all the other spectacularly decorated homes lighting up our nights. 

Patten’s 6th St. Light Show, Cambridge

Enchanted Garden

While the yard on a home doesn’t always make or break the deal, it doesn’t hurt to have a beautiful or interesting one.  This home in Coon Rapids, MN was off a busier road but the back yard was a large, lush hidden area with beautiful gardens.  This definitely helped this home stand out in my buying clients’ minds. 



Ivy League Gardening

Detached Townhome, Cambridge, MN

This detached townhome in Cambridge, Minnesota was sold on a on a contract-for-deed for full price.  As a compliment to the buyer and seller, I provided a comprehensive warranty from Edina Realty Home Warranties

Oak Leaf Grange – Stark, MN

The old Oak Leaf Grange in Stark, Minnesota.  Made to look even older.