The Adventure Continues: Finding Joy Wherever We Can

finding joy

Finding Joy in the Everyday.

Life as we have always known it is not the same, and we will never forget 2020. That is the understatement of the year, right? Most people want to forget 2020, but I refuse to do that, especially since our twin grandchildren, James & Josephine, were born this year! Something else is happening very soon and will bring our family great joy as well, but I am keeping it on the down-low for now. 

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Changes From COVID Influenced The Biggest Adventure of Our Lives

changes from COVID
The gift bag in the center is filled with toiletries I couldn’t live without and for emergencies. So glamorous! But we are all smiles on the road North!

The life changes from COVID are endless.

Can we count the ways that COVID has changed our lives? Where do we begin? Life as we know it has turned on its head, spun around fifty times, and then was asked to stand up straight. How can we do that? Answer: One day at a time.

Parents welcomed their grown children back home when they couldn’t go to work or lost their jobs. Empty Nester Moms and Dads readjusted to making meals for many instead of two once again. Were we sad they came home? No, not all. Adjustments were made, new routines were created, and bonds became even stronger.

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A Positive Reset for 2020 & My New E-Book To Help You THRIVE!

A Positive Reset for 2020

Do you dream about a positive reset for 2020? Yes, me too. This year has been emotionally exhausting, and as I work through it, I am always looking for some solid inspiration! 2020 has become something we barely recognize and since I cannot travel or maintain my travel writer lifestyle, I tried something new. We created Cocktail Adventures, and it has been a lot of fun! Cocktail Adventures is an eight video series where Craig and I share our personal recipes and cocktail expertise along with a travel story that pairs well with the destination. Have you seen them?

In addition, my new friends at Get Organized HQ asked me to be one of two Empty Nester speakers for an upcoming Virtual Video Summit. Suzy from Empty Nest Blessed is also sharing her expertise! How fun is that?

Read moreA Positive Reset for 2020 & My New E-Book To Help You THRIVE!

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. 

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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

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!

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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.

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Give Yourself A Delightful New Book Called Don’t Overthink It

new book called Don't Overthink It

Check out this thought-provoking new book called Don’t Overthink It

Are you looking for illuminating practical suggestions to take your everyday life to a new level? Does facing annoying personal habits sound daunting? This book will help smooth out the wrinkles in your decision strategies and most certainly put a smile on your face.

Reading is a huge passion of mine and almost borders on obsession. I can never be reading a book without several more in line for my next read. My TBR (to be read) list is long, and I often read two (sometimes three) books at once. To be clear, one could be a novel, another personal development, and a third is likely a memoir about a chef. It depends upon my mood and the amount of time I have to read at the moment. 

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More Downsizing, Too Many Photos, More Lessons Learned

downsizing
My renovated kitchen nook and library – My happy place.

Empty Nester Downsizing:  Are you doing this?

The downsizing continues… More sifting, sorting, tossing and saving. Are you doing this? Lately, I seem to read a lot about how people are downsizing, buying smaller homes and some of them have adapted to a nomadic lifestyle. They just travel and don’t even have a permanent home any longer. 

Our children now are grown, we looked around and noticed… we have lots of stuff. I’ve written in the past about how we had a much bigger home and downsized to a smaller home which we completely renovated. The entire experience was a gratifying and exciting adventure. However, what we came to understand was that we collected too many personal possessions! Sound familiar?

Read moreMore Downsizing, Too Many Photos, More Lessons Learned

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