Wednesday, June 29, 2016

5 Podcasts for the Location Indie Lifestyle

Most people have an end goal...some big, scary push goal, as they say, that pushes them through the day to day tasks related to achieving that end goal. 

Some stay motivated with vision boards; others seek personal development through books by leaders in their field. Others join mastermind groups made up of people pushing toward a common goal. These groups can meet in person regularly or through conferences, or in online groups and forums, and typically, as with anything, you get out of them what you put into them. 

I engage in a lot of personal development, but my favorite these days comes from podcasts. My go-to podcasts are in the areas of travel and location independence. If you're like me and would love the freedom to work anywhere or to create a more intentional life, these podcasts will help you build a mastermind that helps you achieve any goal on your list. 

While I don't listen to every episode of each podcast in its entirety, I cull nuggets of wisdom and action steps I can take from each episode that I download. 

As with anything, I get out of them what I put into them.

1. An Uncluttered Life with Warren and Betsy Talbot 

Learn how to live your Plan A life with practical strategies to remove the physical and emotional clutter that weighs you down. Each 30 minute podcast comes with a downloadable worksheet outlining the topic strategy and how it works. Warren and Betsy also offer courses and an online support community called The Life Lab to help you reach your goals. 

2. The Chalene Show and Build Your Tribe

Chalene Johnson is a motivational speaker, fitness trainer, and social media strategist. The Chalene Show is a mixed bag of personal and business development and the Build Your Tribe podcast is dedicated to branding, digital marketing and community building. 

4. Location Indie
This podcast features Travis from Extra Pack of Peanuts and Jason from Zero to Travel, two  well-known travel-based podcasts in their own right. With this project, they collaborate to provide "an unfiltered, behind-the-scenes look at what the location independent and digital nomad lifestyle really looks like." They also offer an online support community to help you achieve your own location independent goals. 

5. Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn
This podcast is dedicated to all things related to creating and maintaining an online business. The podcast features interviews with leaders in the field, like Tim Ferris, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Chalene Johnson

There are countless others as well. Do a topic search for podcasts in iTunes or whatever platform you use. You can download specific episodes or subscribe to entire podcasts. You can build a mastermind around the topics that interest you. 

Do you listen to podcasts? What are your favorites?


Monday, June 27, 2016

Move over, Sangria...Try Tinto de Verano

People outside of Spain tend to believe that sangria is the drink of choice throughout Spain. It is widely available, but it's for the tourists. Spaniards are drinking gin and tonics, clara con limón (close to a Summer Shandy of beer and a lemon-flavored soda) and tinto de verano, literally, the wine of summer. 

Tinto de Verano is sangria without the work (or the brandy). It's simply an equal mixture of red table wine and a gaseosa, some carbonated soda, like seltzer or lemon-lime soda. Serve it over ice, and you're good to go...easy and refreshing. 


Friday, June 24, 2016

Lovely Places: Pilgrim's Inn on Deer Isle, Maine

Overlooking a serene mill pond in Down East Maine, Pilgrim's Inn on Deer Isle in Penobscot Bay, was the perfect place for the Señor and I to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. 

Built in 1793, this beautifully restored post and beam inn is on the National Register of Historic Places. Innkeepers, Tony Lawless and Tina Oddleifson, purchased the inn in 2005. Their hospitality philosophy is "to anticipate the needs of our guests and provide excellent service, while at the same time giving people the space to create their own experience." And they did, indeed. 

Pilgrim's Inn is a member of Select Registry, a portfolio of more than 300 quality assured, premier bed and breakfasts, inns, and select hotels. Each property is held to a 200 point inspection, insuring that guests are treated to the highest quality experience. Tony and Tina provided that, and so much more. 

From the middle of May through the middle of October, Pilgrim's Inn offers twelve rooms in the main inn, as well as three cottages for a more secluded experience. All rooms have private baths, lush linens, air conditioning, bathrobes and hairdryers. 

Guests have access to free, on-site parking, wireless internet throughout the inn, a guest computer, and a guest phone line, which offers free calls throughout the US and Canada. The main room has a library filled with books and a game room with board games and cable television, the only television in the inn.

Outside, the property has Adirondack chairs for relaxing beside the pond. 

And lovely grounds to stroll. 

The Señor and I stayed in Room 2, featuring a beautiful king-sized bed that overlooks the mill pond, lawn and gardens. 

The experience of an inn like Pilgrim's Inn and many Select Registry properties, is found in the details. 

BeeKind is a line of products with all-natural ingredients. A portion of their sales goes to honeybee research. 

Such a lovely touch. 

We had dinner in the Whale's Rib Tavern, and what a treat it was!

Fun lobster trap chairs. 

We began with drinks in the bar. The Señor enjoyed a local brew, and I asked the bartender to create something fruity. Using fresh Maine blueberries, that's exactly what she did, and it was delicious. 

In the dining room of the restaurant, the Señor and I toasted to our anniversary over a bottle of  full-bodied cabernet. He enjoyed a perfectly cooked grilled beef tenderloin and I chose a grilled duck breast. 

For dessert, we chose a chocolate pot de creme and Maine blueberry crisp. It was easily, one of the best meals of our lives.  

Reservations are highly suggested at this destination restaurant. The staff is knowledgeable, helpful with recommendations, and do everything to make your experience one to remember. Tony, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America with over 25 years of industry experience, oversees the kitchen and insures the highest quality of flavor, presentation, and service. 

A full breakfast for two people is included in your stay at Pilgrim's Inn, and homemade cookies, fresh fruit, and beverages are available throughout the day. Breakfast is served in the inn's restaurant, the Whale's Rib Tavern, and, at this time, is open to guests of the inn only. 

Pilgrim's Inn was featured in the The Boston Globe and Maine Magazine, and was an Editor's Choice in Yankee Magazine. It was also featured in A Thousand Places to See Before You Die: North America Edition. In addition, Pilgrim's Inn has received Certificate of Excellence awards from Trip Advisor, and they are members of the Diamond Collection with

Deer Isle, Maine, is close to Acadia National Park, Stonington, and Isle au Haut. It is rich with activities related to hiking, kayaking, bird-watching, art galleries, and farmers' markets.  

Anyone can stay at a chain hotel that offers an impersonal front-end experience; but if you're looking for more...a place where you are welcomed as if you were coming home, then choose a Select Registry property like the Pilgrim's Inn and experience Down East Maine like a local. It is a lovely place, indeed. 

We are grateful to Tony and Tina, who hosted our stay and anniversary celebration, in partnership with Select Registry

For booking information, call 888-778-7505. Pilgrim's Inn is located at 20 Main Street, Deer Isle, Maine. They can be contacted at 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ahora 18: June in Bullets

Here we are at the end of June. Already. Every cliche people have about the passing of time is spot-on accurate. 

Here is what is happening ahora in my world. 

  • School is out for the summer! Hooray. I am happy to report that my kiddos did great on their ACCESS exams, a test that measures their proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening in English. Since I am an ESL teacher, this is our "high-stakes" test (in addition to the kiddos that also take PARCC). 
  • I am getting excited to go see my girl in Florida next week. This is such a joyful two weeks; I can't wait to see her and talk with her and just be. I am one lucky auntie
  • It's almost Spain-vacation time, so I've been eagerly researching places to go in Galicia and in other parts of Spain, as well as in Lisbon, where we will be spending three or four days before flying back to the United States. 

  • I've developed a serious iced-coffee habit. I'm trying to make it at home, but it just doesn't taste the same. The best I have found is the Starbucks unsweetened coffee at my local supermarket; it's still not the same, so more often than not, it's off to Starbucks and Dunks I go. 

Thanks for the free coffee, Starbucks. 

  • Tis the season for returning series, so I've been rationing the new seasons of Grace and Frankie and Orange is the New Black. I also have been catching up on movies I have wanted to watch. Everest was a thrill and a confirmation that climbing this mountain has never and will never be on my bucket-list. I read Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air years ago, and I'm fascinated by those who do climb, but I will be content wandering around the foot of Everest, inspired by her majesty with both feet firmly on the bottom. Self awareness is a wonderful thing.
  • It's fun playing tourist in Boston. 

  • Anxiety over the political situation is a real thing. Good grief.  
  • Who else is enjoying ice cream this summer? We have a small-batch, homemade ice cream place nearby that infuses liquid nitrogen into their processing. It's delicious and this place is known for innovative flavors like hibiscus cabernet, horchata, chipotle mezcal, and fennel pistachio, among the chocolate and vanilla favorites. I recently had orange tarragon, which I topped with candied, so good!

So that's about it for me this month. What's happening ahora in your world?

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Happy Father's Day! #TellThemNow

This weekend we celebrate Father's Day, and for a couple of weeks, bloggers and advertisers have been selling all things Dad. 

There are gift guides for relaxing Dads, sporty Dads, and those-who-don't-fit-the-mold-Dads. 

No doubt, it's a nice idea to shower someone with special treats, but if it's done in relative isolation, it's missing the mark.

This video about fathers and their children came across my media feed last year and it's a good one.

If you're lucky enough to have your dad in your life, tell him what he means to you. Don't wait.

Time is precious. He has enough stuff.

Your time, your words, your love...they're the best gifts of all.

And if Father's Day is a struggle, because of circumstances of loss or unfulfilled expectations, I wish you peace and healing and the opportunity to tell someone that you do love what he or she means to you.

This weekend, I will celebrate my father, and I will tell him what he means to me, because he means the world to me. 

Happy Father's Day! 


I took this from the archives, but I updated it a bit because I think it is still relevant today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

An Epicurean Delight...A Recipe for Mom's Macaroni and Hamburg

If you're a fan of tomato soup, then this will take comfort food to a whole new level. 

I grew up on this; it's not fancy, but it's delicious. Enjoy!

Mom's Macaroni and Hamburg 
1 pound of ground beef
1 box of elbow macaroni, cooked in salted water
I onion, chopped
2-3 cans of condensed tomato soup.*
*My Mom ALWAYS uses Campbell's tomato soup. I use the me, it's the same. Make it be the judge. 

Cook the elbow macaroni in a separate pot with salted water. At the same time, in a large, deep skillet, cook the onion and ground beef. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Add the tomato soup and mix well.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it back to the pot. You don't have to rinse the want the sauce to stick to the macaroni. 

Mix it well and serve. That's it. 

I top mine with grated parmesan (with wood pulp, apparently) and it's delicious! 

It makes great leftovers too. 

An epicurean delight? My dad kiddingly says yes, and to me, it is. 

It's comfort food, and most comfort food is an epicurean delight. It's a taste of home. 

Tell me...what is your favorite comfort food from childhood? Do you still prepare it yourself?

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday and I am as excited as the littles I work with at school every day.

Today I'm also going on a field trip, which if you ask my second graders, is probably the coolest thing that could ever happen to you in a lifetime...a field trip ON your birthday. 

While I can imagine other things that are just as thrilling, it's still pretty cool, as they say, and we're sure to have a fun day.

As I move through this life, it seems that so many opportunities are presenting themselves, and I feel like I'm on the cusp of everything, even at 45.

My mom's cake (and her special birthday dinner) still makes me smile, as does the special  order tortilla española prepared by my mother-in-law, and unlike when I was a little girl, the candles on my cake no longer represent my age...thank goodness.

I'm still pretty excited about my birthday. 

I don't remember when exactly, but at some point, my mom transitioned candle counts to represent decades, plus single years. Almost like today's Common Core bundling charts, my cake became a math problem as guests tried to figure out what was going on with the candle situation. 

So this year, my cake will bear nine for each decade, plus one for each single year in my fourth decade...nine in total if you're adding, and easier (and safer) to extinguish than 45 of them set ablaze all at once. 

It's an exciting time to be 45. It doesn't look anything like I thought it would when I was this young girl, but it's a lovely life, indeed! 

Happy Birthday to all of the special people who share my birthday month.

Here's to wishes come true made on our birthday candles. 

Here's to another glorious trip around the sun. 

Cheers to us all!

Do you still get excited about birthdays? How do you celebrate your special day?