Archives for May 2016


Moving on up!

Where to start?

Life has been busy-very busy. A few weeks before having Vivian we met with a realtor to talk about possibly putting our house up for sale. We had a few projects to finish up and knew we needed a month a two after baby arrived to settle in with having two littles before actually listing our home. After speaking with the realtor our goal was to have it listed by April 1st.  I honestly thought this date would come and go and we would still be getting our house “ready.”

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Henry attempting to lock the front door with the lock box attached.


It was fall and Derek and I started casually tossing around the idea of moving. Our home was slowly not meeting all of our wants/needs and our neighborhood wasn’t exactly where we wanted our kids to grow up. Our home was perfect for just the two of us, but not the most kid friendly. It’s funny how when we bought the home we knew we wanted kids, but we didn’t realize what would be important to us until we were actually parents.

Obviously, this comes to, where to move next? My husband works in Eden Prairie, which is a good 45 minutes from our current home and with traffic can bring a LONG commute. (Two hours has been the longest.) Anyone from Minnesota knows that that part of the state is a really bad traffic area. It seems like the obvious to move closer to that area, right? But, are our two biggest dilemmas:

Home pricing: Homes around Eden prairie and surrounding cities cost astronomically more than elsewhere in the Twin Cities. The amount of home we would get would be almost half compared to other cities ae further away. We also would love to build our next home and in EP this means your build will start at around 600,000 plus another 20k for the lot premium and if you want any upgrades your looking at a minimum of a 650,000 home. We just don’t have that kind of money. Even if we did- it brings us to our next “problem”.

Family: Both our families live just a bit north of the twin cities. I am really close to my parents and living close to Derek’s work means a poke away from them. Derek also has a membership at the golf course over by my parents house and golfs with my dad Friday, Saturday, & Sunday during “golf season.” We end up staying at their house and with two littles this has become a pain hauling stuff back and forth every single weekend.
Builder: We have fallen in love with the builder “Creative Homes.” We love their style from their exteriors to their included interior extras that all builders don’t do…everything impresses us. When we see other builders in our price range we always end up comparing them to Creative Homes. Hands down, they are my favorite. But, They only builds on the east/ north side of the cities. This is great location wise to be close to family, but poor location for Derek’s work. If your in the market for a new home or just like looking at homes check them out!

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Creative Homes neighborhood and floor plan we have our eye on.

Fast forward:

We got all of our projects done and actually listed our home on April 1st (our goal date!) We had a flooding of showings, and this is no joke! We didn’t go a single day until we accepted our second offer without at least one showing. On the weekends we had up to six showings a day! After five days on the market we had an offer, it was decent, but not exactly what we were looking for. But, that didn’t matter because it eventually fell through. Long story short, a husband placed the offer without his wife’s knowledge. (Really?!) she found out and put an end to it. Sounds like he was trying to be really romantic and buy her a home or a good way to ask for a divorce. Either way, by day 20 we accepted our second offer and both husband and wife knew about it!


Current time:

We close on our home in a few weeks and have been slowly packing up our home. We were so excited to sell our home, not only to be done with showings, but to move onto our next home. But, packing up has brought up “all the feels”. This was Derek’s and I’s first house together, this is the house where we became Mr. And Mrs., where we brought our babies home, where we have grown together as a family. Its even the small things like the plants we’ve planted and the projects we have done to make this house our home that will be taught to say goodbye to.  We never thought we would be a little sad, but this home has been good to us and we hope the next family can enjoy the home as well.

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Peonies I planted in front of our house when we first moved in.  They have grown so much and produce the most beautiful flowers.  They are getting ready to blossom any day now!

We have decided to rent a townhouse in one of our favorite areas (Woodbury) for a year. This gives us a year to be certain where we want to purchase or build our next home. Also, it helps us budget exactly how much we have to spend on a home without contingencies of having to sell our home at a certain price. We wholeheartedly believe this the best decision for our family.

Coming soon “A Stroll Down Memory Lane” to see some of our favorite times at our house


Copy Cat Penne Rosa


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Noodles and Co. Penne Rosa – Copy Cat

I love love love the Penne Rosa from Noodles & Co.  This pasta dish has the same creamy and yet light red sauce. It’s not identical, and doesn’t have mushrooms in it, but you could add them if you like. It’s SO easy, quick, and inexpensive to make.  I use it to feed my whole family and have left overs! I bought my ingredients from Aldi, but you can get them from any grocery store. I’m a huge fan of Aldi (you can save a ton of money!) and if you haven’t checked them out you should give it a try. Fun fact, they are owned by the same company as Trader Joe’s!

* 1 tbsp butter
* 1 package of chicken sausage (pictured below) cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
* half of an onion- diced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 cups chicken broth
* 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
* 8 oz dry pasta
* 1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
* 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, each
* 1 cup shredded cheese
* 2 cups fresh spinach
** If your trying to cut calories the cheese is not essential it just won’t be as creamy.


1. Add butter to a 4-5 quart saute pan over medium high heat.
2. Fry the chicken sausage and onions.
3. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
4. Add spinach and cook and additional 30 seconds while continuing to mix.
5. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, heavy cream, pasta, and seasonings.
6. Simmer for 15 minutes, or untill pasta is tender.
7. Stir in cheese (optional.)
8. This only makes 4 LARGE servings, so if you are feeding a larger group or want leftovers, I’d recommend doubling the recipe, it’s well worth it! Enjoy!


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This is the chicken suasage I like to use!