Tag Archives: Outdoors

Eight Things Minnesotans Take for Granted

It is a well known fact that Minnesotans tend to complain about their home state. It’s too humid, the mosquitoes are awful, the roads are too icy.. it seems endless. However all these negative phenomenon are not without their upsides! Despite what you might hear, Minnesota is a wonderful place to live. This northern land offers residents and visitors a unique set of activities, and a convenient lifestyle. Here are eight things Minnesotans take for granted about living in this great state.

Flickr Creative Commons: xmith xmith

Flickr Creative Commons: xmith xmith


1. Lakes

Why are there so many mosquitoes? Well, it’s because there are so many lakes for them to grow in! Lakes offer fishing, boating, tubing, swimming, ice skating, and many more activities. Did you know that numerous lakes are something that most states lack? Minnesota has over 7,000 sq. miles of water! We are lucky; there are twenty states in the USA have less than 1000 sq. miles of water.


2. Quality of Life

In Minnesota, you are never too far away from a grocery store, a biking trail, or a gas station. The cost of living is lower than the national average, and so is the unemployment rate. Relaxing is serious business – it is practically required to spend your summer doing whatever you please in the radiant sunshine. These factors allow for a superb quality of life, and make Minnesota a great place to raise a family.

Flickr Creative Commons: Richie Diesterheft

Flickr Creative Commons: Richie Diesterheft


3. White Winters

Snow is something Minnesotans complain about on a regular basis. But can you imagine having a snow-less holiday season every year? No sledding, no hot cocoa, no snowmen, no fireplaces; it would be a sad sight. Other states have to make fake snow just to make it feel like the holiday season. Next time you want to mention how much you hate the snow, try to remember that many people wish for it!


4. Entertainment Options

Minneapolis and St. Paul are notoriously busy with concerts, art exhibits, parades, and other activities. Minnesotans aren’t always aware that many other states lack this type of culture. People from the Dakotas, Illinois, and Wisconsin often must travel to Minnesota to see their favorite bands and shows.


5. Minnesota Nice

People in Minnesota are genuinely friendly. If someone is lost or needs advice, Minnesotans do not hesitate to ask each other for help, and give warm replies. Unless you have traveled to other states, you might not know that people do not behave this way everywhere. In many other states, if you get lost, you are on your own!

Flickr Creative Commons: Randen Pederson

Flickr Creative Commons: Randen Pederson


6. Fall Colors

The four seasons of Minnesota offer year-round beauty, but the fall is a special time of year. Many southern states are the same colors all year round – green and brown. Fall in Minnesota means vistas spattered with red, gold, yellow, purple, and orange.


7. Education

Minnesota has a great education system. In a study done by WalletHub, Minnesota was ranked as the eighth best state to get an education. Additionally, we have the University of Minnesota – one of the top and most affordable Big Ten schools.

Flickr Creative Commons:  m01229

Flickr Creative Commons: m01229


8. Safety

Overall, Minnesota is a very safe place to live; TheStreet ranked Minnesota as the 5th safest state to live it. With only 0.02437 crimes per capita, and  only .69 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, you and your family can feel safe living in this great state.


Know of any other things Minnesotans take for granted about their state? Let us know!


All photos used under this license.



Top 5 Phone Apps for Realtors

Technology is a great resource for any professional today. For realtors, who are always on the go, what phone apps serve them best to make their jobs that much easier? Well, we’ve gathered 5 apps we suggest every realtor should have on their phones/tablets. Let us know if there is one you use the most:

1. Pro HDR

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View in iTunes store here

This app will allow you to take pictures of your properties, modify the lighting or little edits you can add to enhance the picture and make it a higher definition one.

2.  Storehouse

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View in iTunes store here

Imagine talking to a prospect buyer and pulling out a video and pictures with the virtual tour of a house right from your phone or tablet. This will make you look even more professional, but also one that’s eager and ready to get things done. Your clients will surely appreciate it.

3. Genius Scan

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View in iTunes store here.


Realtors, and agents are never in one single place. Odds are sometimes you might have to run back to the office to scan a document and end up losing time and gas. This app can scan your documents and turn them into a PDF or JPEG doc. Take a picture, and send it over through email as either format with no problem and no need to run to anywhere.

4. Waze

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View in iTunes store here.


Ever been stuck in traffic in a unfamiliar part of the city wishing you could know of a shortcut? Well, we’ve got one for you! Well, iTunes and Google has one, but we’re telling you this one is will make your life so much easier. This app will tell you the traffic updates  or road closures close to your location. Sounds like a perfect app for someone who’s always on the go!

5. Dashlane

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 10.27.28 AM

View in iTunes store here.

Realtors can have over 10 social media platforms. With all the names, addresses, information realtors receive in one day chances are you might forget passwords often. This app will solve that problem alone. Not only does it save your login information, but also receipts, payment methods, credit card information. Perfect app for a busy professional such as a realtor or agent.


Awesome Apple Picking in Minnesota

Fall is finally here! The air is crisp, the leaves are turning colors and the apples are ready for picking. Apple picking is not only a fun way to spend a fall afternoon, but also is a great family friendly activity. So, from Afton to Webster and everywhere else in between, RNR has rounded up the best locations across the state.

Once you make it to an orchard, you can opt to pick your own apples or take home a pre-picked bag. Either way, visitors can expect to pay for their goodies pay by the pound.  However, before you and your brood make the trip be sure to call ahead to double check the orchard’s supplies. Factors like weather, season and how busy they have been may affect these levels.

In addition to apple picking, many of the orchards boast pumpkin patches and offer a variety of other activities like hayrides, petting zoos and corn mazes. Whatever adventures you choose, you will be sure to get your fall fix.


Finally, once you make it home why not put your apples to use give this awesome apple crisp recipe a try? This simple, yet satisfying dessert can be served alone or with ice cream. Yum! Yum!

Afton Apple Orchard, Hastings

Anoka County Farms, Ham Lake

Apple Jack Orchards, Delano

Fireside Orchard and Gardens, Northfield

McDougall’s Apple Junction, Hastings

Minnesota Harvest Apple, Jordan

Minnetonka Orchards, Minnetrista

Pine Tree Apple Orchard, White Bear Lake

Sweetland Orchard, Webster

Whistling Well Farm, Hastings

For a full list of orchards, click here.


Landscaping Tips for Homeowners

Having a landscaped garden is a great way of improving the overall value of your home, as well as its reputation around town. The costs you will need to pay to get things done will be there, but you can rest assured this will be money well-spent, making your home a much more welcoming place for all involved, guests and potential buyers as well. If you need the help, you can hire gardening and landscaping professionals to get things done for you, assisting you with the jobs you’re not sure you can do yourself. The time you spend on this will be up to you, but the main thing you need to remember is that landscaping gardeners will have the skills you need, but they may also know the type of garden that would work best for your chosen area. You can do some research on the web by yourself or through books if you need more information on the subject.

A gardening expert who works on designing such places will have a significant amount of information you can make use of, as well as ideas and the experience you need to get things organized. Nowadays people either don’t have the time to deal with such tasks or they simply don’t possess the skills in many cases. Having the area under the care of a professional will make sure you have less to worry about in the long run. You can have a great, low-maintenance approach to your new landscaping solution, which will make it much easier to take care of. A good example of that would be paving it with flagstone slabs that are easier to clean. Wood decking is also a good way of approaching things, though it will need some occasional cleanup and staining to make it look good. Although the initial costs of string trimmers, lawnmowers and other gardening tools will set you back, you will have great need of them as time goes by so you can keep your garden clean, weed-free and looking good.

You can also have a much more interesting and complex design for your landscaping needs, though this means you will need to deal with more maintenance too. Landscaped gardens can really stun with their amazing looks, especially if you have a strategically placed gazebo or something along those lines.

You will also have to deal with the right amounts of light levels for the plants in your landscaped area. This is especially important if you have trees or the home you live in or plan on selling creates a shade over some areas of the landscape. Certain flowers and other plants love the shade above all, so before you make your move you should ensure you understand what goes where as well as their specific needs. Another great addition to a landscaped area, ponds can be absolutely wonderful to have around, especially when combined with some ornamental statues, seating space and more. Whatever your choice may be, your vision is what defines the looks of your new landscape.

There are a great many flowers that may be grown in the Minnesota area, such as the following:

  • Cornflowers (Echinacea purpurea)

Lovely pink to purple and white colors, but also available in other colors such as yellow, red and more. Do keep in mind that some people are allergic to echinacea though, so you may want to make sure you’re not one of them.

  • Lenten Roses (Helleboros orientalis)

Often found blooming in the shade, they are red, purple or almost black, whith pink, greens and white petals. You can place them near your walkways to enjoy their lovely colors.

  • Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

A wonderful spring flower, which has purple to pink blooms, equally capable of surviving in the sun or in the shade. They can reseed themselves, so you don’t really need to worry about them too much.

  • Black-Eyed Susans (Redbeckia fulgida)

Gorgeous golden flowers wht a dark center, blooming for more than a month and even during August. You can grow them in the sun with no maintenance and no worries at all.

  • Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

These lovely flowers, also called milkweed that are very easy to grown, also being a real magnet for monarch butterflies. They have gorgeous clusters of yellow, pink or orange flowers with thin and delicate seedpods.

Landscape Design And Garden Services Kensington can help you with more ideas.

About the Author: Cora Carter is a professional writer. She lives in England with her husband and children. She wants to share her experience with her audience. She has many published articles on various topics such as home and garden, real estate, cleaning etc.

Best Fishing Spots Near Louisville

You can read the full, original article here: Hook, line and sinker: 5 Best Places to Fish in (and around) Louisville | Insider Louisville.

Photo Credit: "Seven Swan A-Swimming at Taylorsville Lake" © 2009 by LouisvilleUSACE (CC BY 2.0)

Photo Credit: “Seven Swans A-Swimming at Taylorsville Lake” © 2009 by LouisvilleUSACE (CC BY 2.0)

Louisville, Ky. might not be the first place that comes to mind when you’re thinking of outdoor summer fun and recreation, but it should certainly be on your radar. Not only was it named the Top Travel Destination in 2013 by Lonely Planet, but it has also been called America’s “Most Livable” large city. But don’t let that “large city” business fool you; Louisville still maintains the charm of a small, southern town with great local amenities and outdoor activities. The city is home to Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby Museum, the upcoming PGA Championship, and so much more, including some of the best fishing spots outside of Minnesota (what can we say, we ARE the Land of 10,000 Lakes). Read all about those fishing destinations here, then let us know: have you been to Louisville? What was your favorite “catch of the day”? Shout ’em out in the comments!

Visit Duluth, the Best Outdoors Town in America

The full original post can be found here: Visit Duluth, the Best Outdoors Town in America – Minnesota Journeys – June 2014 – Minnesota.

Photo credit: "Sailing to Duluth" © 2010 by Randen Pederson (CC BY 2.0)

Photo credit: “Sailing to Duluth” © 2010 by Randen Pederson (CC BY 2.0)

Duluth was recently voted the best outdoors town in America, and it’s easy to see why. With 11,000 acres of green space, miles of trails, countless activities on Lake Superior, and so much more, the title seems quite fitting. The town is home to Minnesota’s largest 4th of July fireworks extravaganza and the city’s largest neighborhood festival, Spirit Valley Days, is coming up at the end of the month. Duluth is a true four seasons town and there is never a shortage of outdoor happenings for you and your family to enjoy.

Read more about how Duluth beat its competition here, then tell us, do you think Duluth deserves this honor? What do you love most about the lakeside town? Let us know in the comments!