Celebrating the Twins!: Fabulous Tips & Details of a Virtual Baby Shower

virtual baby shower
Mother/daughter moment before the shower began.

Highlights of our virtual baby shower!

Did you ever think you would be planning a virtual baby shower? Was that even a possibility last year or the year before? Now that Zoom is part of our everyday culture; we used it to celebrate our daughter.

I am not going to lie; having a virtual baby shower for our daughter Alex was an emotional decision. Well, truthfully, it was the only decision that could be made, but still so hard!

No friend, co-worker, or family member would see her in person and get to hug her and admire this physical feat of strength. She is carrying two enormous humans in her body! 

Oh, COVID-19, you have changed our lives forever. I am not going to get into the politics of any of it, but suffice it to say I am angry, but managing my thoughts. My sweet daughter deserved to be celebrated, and I was going to figure out just how to do it. I have never attended a virtual baby shower, have you?

Because I am a blogger, I will write all about it, share the details and you can receive the benefit of my experience. I want you to have the best shower or celebration EVER, so if my design ideas help you, I am happy!

virtual baby shower
No guesses needed. There will be a Girl AND a Boy!

Read moreCelebrating the Twins!: Fabulous Tips & Details of a Virtual Baby Shower

Flying During The Coronavirus – What’s It Really Like?

 

Curious what it is like flying during the Coronavirus?

Have you given any thought to taking a trip? Are you itching to get away? Fearful? Undecided? I have some first-hand experience that I look forward to sharing with you. I hope it will help and give you a little perspective.

Let’s go back a few months to my first flight during the Coronavirus.

As a travel writer and empty nester with no immediate family commitments, my travel calendar is always full. In between my scheduled business travel, my husband and I travel together a great deal as well. We are always on the go, just ask our friends and family! Non-stop unpacking and packing, watering the yard in between, living a semi-chaotic existence. Maybe it was too much? We had the chance to discover just how insane our lifestyle really is/was—more on that in an upcoming post.

The virus has caused all of us to pause and appreciate our health and our blessings. My husband traveled for business every week, at times we were like ships passing in the night. However, the hotel points and accumulated air mileage allow us to book amazing empty nester adventures around the world. Life has its trade-offs.

Just about mid-March, we were all grounded, abruptly stopped in our tracks from leaving our homes, let alone travel anywhere. We were receiving conflicting news from all sides and just trying to feel our way through this world-wide catastrophe. 

Read moreFlying During The Coronavirus – What’s It Really Like?

Hey Food Lovers, The Virtual Cooking Classes by NYCWFF Are Fantastic!

virtual cooking classes

Virtual Cooking Classes – What do you think of this idea?

Are you tired of the same old thing, day in and day out? Does a new type of cooking adventure sound interesting? A virtual cooking class is a great place to begin! Whether I take a cooking class tour or one close to home, I have learned a ton about the craft of cooking delicious food. These types of classes not only boost your cooking talents, but there is always a surprise tip that you would have never picked up from just reading a recipe. 

Are you looking for virtual cooking classes now that we are not gathering in large groups? The Food Network & Cooking Channel, along with the New York City Wine & Food Festival, have created NYCWFF at Home.

The beauty of wine and food festivals is that they enable the everyday cook to mingle with accomplished and often famous chefs while tasting bites of local restaurant food. Due to COVID-19, we aren’t able to attend festivals and do so many other things, and one of those activities is to take a cooking class with a large group of people.

However, during the Stay at Home mandate, this group of enthusiastic food lovers at NYCWFF managed to put together a cohesive, organized, and delightful cooking class series. 

While safe in our homes, we can all participate in a unique opportunity to cook alongside and engage with an NYCWFF personality.

I have already taken two classes and absolutely adored the experience. These chefs are incredibly generous with their knowledge, tips, and cooking techniques. You never know what new cooking gem will be uncovered!

Read moreHey Food Lovers, The Virtual Cooking Classes by NYCWFF Are Fantastic!

Three of Our Best Cocktail Recipes & Videos for Empty Nesters & Friends

        best cocktail recipes

More of our best cocktail recipes for you!

So the project continues.

Our little video Cocktail Adventure has been moving along and catching speed. You all have been so supportive with your comments and enthusiasm, and we aim to please! Even our non-drinking friends are enjoying this little escape as well!

We began this adventure six weeks ago to connect with everyone stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are baking amazing new recipes, letting their creative juices flow, and investigating new personal talents. Also, liquor sales have gone up dramatically! Hello? You are making cocktails too!

Not exactly sure how we could contribute, we created Cocktail Adventures, where we film a short 4-5 minute video and offer a little cocktail history, our favorite recipes, and a travel memory that is enhanced by this drink.

My husband Craig does some research, we include our signature recipes, and I add my friendly spin on our travel memories.

Today you are in for a treat! A tasty trifecta of the perfect ingredients and stories as well as the three videos we filmed in one take. Yep, one take. Why waste time on perfection? There’s no such thing!

Read moreThree of Our Best Cocktail Recipes & Videos for Empty Nesters & Friends

Empty Nester Adventures: Starting a Garden Could Be a Lifesaver

starting a garden
That would be my dog, Rocco, right there next to me! He is never too many steps away.

Authors note: When you visit here at Adventures of Empty Nesters my favorite topic is travel. I share where we have been, where we are going, and what’s on our personal travel calendar. It feels odd to me to not participate, let alone write about it, but I have had to adjust, at least temporarily. We all are adjusting aren’t we?

Could starting a garden be a lifesaver? Yes, I think it can.

Wow, what month is this? Did Spring arrive? Today is the 497th day of the COVID – 19 Stay at Home mandate. Right? Or does it just feel like it? 

Is starting a garden on your list of possible adventures? What are you creating to stay S-A-N-E?

Craig and I have created a small urban garden every year since we moved into our empty nest. We planted a couple of fruit trees, cultivated lettuce in the winter and tomatoes and herbs in the Summer, and loved it. 

Read moreEmpty Nester Adventures: Starting a Garden Could Be a Lifesaver

A Road Trip to Nashville! There’s a Myriad of Delightful Choices

trip to Nashville

This road trip to Nashville was originally published the day of the recent tornado. Not the perfect time to be dreaming of a trip to this amazing city. So, I decided to re-publish in order to bring it to your attention. When a city deals with a natural disaster of this magnitude, it is up to the travelers to come to visit and flood the city with revenue!  Consider planning a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, you will love it, I promise!

A trip to Nashville should be on your adventure list!

It’s official. A trip to Nashville is a fun-filled, tasty tour of music history and fantastic live entertainment.

It seems like virtually everyone has been to Nashville, Tennessee, and then well, maybe not. I have done a little research and have found some intriguing information. Several other fantastic travel bloggers have been to Nashville, toured the city, dined at great places, and written entertaining and informative articles. But… it seems that on this trip we added some other places to experience as well. We had a blast in Nashville.

This only demonstrates that a destination can entertain its visitors in a myriad of ways. So with that being said, here is what we chose to do!

Read moreA Road Trip to Nashville! There’s a Myriad of Delightful Choices

A New Adventure: Our Cocktail Video Series to Entertain & Educate!

cocktail video series

A New Cocktail Video Series – Making the best of the Stay at Home mandate

Today we live in an unfamiliar universe where we can’t leave our house or hug our parents, and toilet paper is at a premium. You can’t make this up if you tried.

Social media is overflowing with people trying to make a difference, make you smile, perform a family dance, share personal anecdotes, encourage, and even educate. New Video Series are popping up frequently from celebrities as well as everyday folks. I say, “Bring It! 

Read moreA New Adventure: Our Cocktail Video Series to Entertain & Educate!

How Can We Emerge From Stay at Home, Better Than Ever?

 emerge from stay at home

How can we emerge from Stay At Home in the best possible way?

We don’t have the green light yet, but we should start thinking ahead. How can we emerge from the Stay at Home order? That is up to us. The financial hardships are devasting for everyone, but we need to persevere; there is no choice! Will we be stronger? More thoughtful? Introspective. Yes, I think all of these will be good descriptions.

I plan to focus intently on the process and route that I take from this recent lifestyle roadblock, ready for new adventures, and a lot more focused on the right things. 

This past six weeks (Which feels much longer, right?) has been full of highs and lows. Everyone is trying to see where they fit and what feels right. Some people have turned to art, others to writing, reading, and cooking. Meanwhile, we are walking our poor dogs to death!

Read moreHow Can We Emerge From Stay at Home, Better Than Ever?

Culinary Tourism is So Much Fun :: Learning How to Make Macarons

learning how to make macarons
Holding a partial tray of pistachio macarons after filling

Travel offers so many types of learning experiences

Is learning how to make macarons a worthwhile life skill? To some, not so much, but to the rest of us, baking challenges enhance our culinary skills, create BIG smiles and a happy sense of accomplishment!

As I write this post, we are in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, and flour is at a premium. It took me two weeks to find five pounds of white flour, and I only have it because my stepfather found it for me! Whoever thought that finding baking flour would be a problem?

However, during this small window of time, many of us are turning to baking as therapy as well as a way to learn a new skill. Some are honing our baking chops to see if we can up our game as well! So far, I have tried my hand at Foccacia and Blueberry Scones – Successfully!

Just a few months ago, when flour was an ingredient I took for granted, I learned how to make macarons. I traveled to Seattle to see our daughter and included this culinary adventure. The class was held at The Pantry and was taught by Marianna Stepniewski, a skilled pastry chef, who showed us many special techniques and offered tips and tricks. After she demonstrated what we needed to do, we tried it ourselves and took turns. We divided into four groups of three and each made a flavor.

Read moreCulinary Tourism is So Much Fun :: Learning How to Make Macarons

5 Clever Ideas That Will Enhance Your Future Travel Life

future travel

What do you need for your future travel life?

Are you missing the exhilaration of an upcoming adventure? Do you dream about your future travel life? You do know that we will travel again! No question. Will it feel different? Absolutely. Will there be new rules in place? Most assuredly. However, an adventure to a new or favorite destination will fill you up again in ways you may have forgotten.

Like you, I have been house-bound, safe at home for a while, although it feels like an eternity. Do you feel that as well? But my dream of strolling through a new city or tasting a delicious local dish has never left me. I know we will be out there again, discovering and living our lives as we have in the past.

While we are patiently doing our part to keep the virus from spreading, it is essential to keep our thoughts lively and hearts full. 

Plan ahead, get organized, dream BIG, research, create, prepare, and make lists! How about a recipe for a successful future travel life! Here are a couple of suggestions for you.

Read more5 Clever Ideas That Will Enhance Your Future Travel Life

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