Adventures in Life

Marriage, parenting, navigating the college process, growing as a person and all the things that go with it from family, friendships and life’s challenges. Let’s talk honestly and openly about it all. I share how I have made it this far, all the up’s and down’s and in-betweens. Let’s share our Adventures in Life!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

For those of us who have guys itching to head outside, let’s get them ready with some great Father’s Day Gift Ideas. Mine has been going stir-crazy these days with COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, but with many states opening up more and more outdoor activities it’s time to think about what your guy would like. Father’s …

Challenge Yourself 1

Survive Stay-at-Home by Challenging Yourself

We are a month into the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home and I wanted to check in with everybody and see how they’re doing? What are you doing to help everyone in your household deal with the stress of being out of sorts from our routines? I’m sharing all my favorite ways to survive stay-at-home by challenging yourself! …

Girl’s Weekend Getaway!

This post is for all you women out there! Don’t neglect precious time with your gal pals. Life gets really busy for all of us whether you are single, a mom, a wife, a businesswoman, and everything in between. It’s easy to just push away from commitments to nourishing our connections with other women. In …

Valentine’s Day Outfit Inspo

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and I’m finally getting around to share with you some really cute, and often, inexpensive ways to pop a little Heart Day love into your outfits. If you read my last post Valentine Treats and Party Decorations for Less, then you know that I am all about saving a my pennies …

Valentine’s Treats & Party Decorations for Less

If you follow me on IG and Facebook, you got to see all of the fun we had during our Galentine’s Weekend Getaway. If you missed it, I’ve added a highlight on IG and you can look for a blog post all about it coming up! If you are planning a Galentine’s or Valetine’s party, …

Holiday Decor Ideas – Blending the New and Old

Yup…. I’m guessing everyone has already decorated to the fullest – or nothing at since Christmas is a week away. For those looking to put the finishing touches and a little inspiration, perhaps for after Christmas sales and new years ideas….life’s been busy but I had a plan, does that count? It takes me loads …

Friendsgiving Brunch!

The holidays, be it Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas or the 4th of July, can look so different over the years. As a child, what were your holiday traditions? I was blessed with a close-knit family where many of us on my mother’s side, lived within an hour of each other. That meant that we had a …

Top 25 under $25 Holiday Fashion Finds

I know! I can’t believe we are already talking about Holiday Fashion and Thanksgiving is still two weeks away! Seriously, did you not notice #allthingschristmas hitting the stores earlier and earlier every year? I may age myself, but I remember when the Toy-R-Us holiday catalog came out the day after Thanksgiving, not 2 months before! …

Top 5 Falloween Decoration Tips

I’m going to real with you… I am the worst at decorating for the seasons. I’m lucky if I remember that I actually have a single bucket in my garage for Fall & Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is a whole different story. Maybe it’s from my youth where money was tight and mom …

Fall Foodie Finds

I can’t believe FALL is in full swing and I haven’t had a moment to spare in getting all things Fall going in the kitchen of my foodie home Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that I haven’t been enjoying #allthingspumpkinspice, but there are so many fun foods out there that I haven’t wanted to …

Conquering Our Fear of Heights

A week ago I had the most amazing opportunity. A local Seattle blogger let us know about an area business that was hosting a Seattle influencer and content creator evening of fun. Curious, I went on their website to check it out. It looked like amazing a rope obstacle course ending, if you want, in …

How We Raised Readers

It all started with a bit of advice. When I was carrying the boys, my husband received a bit of advice from a colleague who shared his name Michael.  Mike, I’ll call him, had raised three daughters with his wife who was a teacher in the Massachusetts Public School System.  He told, my Michael, ” …

Completing the Applications

Can you believe you have made it this far ? Your son/daughter is ready to start the application process.  Let’s get ready.  Preparedness is the key to a smooth application process.  Each college may have a different set of requirements so it is best to do your research, take notes and gather everything before starting. …

Making the Final Decision

Well. It’s been a long processes. It’s included tears, laughter, stress, joy, heartache and its time for the final decision. The Time Between. Between submitting the college applications and all the paperwork and the arrival of letters, our sons used the time to complete scholarships. I will be honest. There are a ton of scholarships …

Narrowing the Field

Well, you have navigated through Step 1 and Step 2 in your college decision process with your son/daughter.  You’ve got a pile of mail and a ton of emails and you can’t believe there will be an end in sight.  Your mailperson is giving you a hardy handshake from having to carry all those parcels. …

College Fairs, Information Sessions and Campus Visits 

You’ve completed Step 1 and your son/daughter have decided that college is on their radar. Where do you go from there? If your son/daughter has taken the PSAT/SAT/ACT then you have probably already started getting emails and stuff in the mail. It can be really overwhelming when it starts flooding in. If they haven’t taken …

Let’s Talk About College

To college or not to college, that is the decision. We have two young men in college as I type this. They have just completed their junior year. We have twins. Over the last few years people have asked how we went through this process with two at the same time. Well, to be honest, …

Women Who Inspire: Expo West

Have you ever heard of ExpoWest? I haven’t either until fellow foodie blogger and Paleo cookbook author, Genevieve Jerome of @fittyfoodlicious told me about it a few months ago. I had really wanted to attend, but travel to California just wasn’t in the cards. Then a last minute family situation happened and I needed to …

Women Who Inspire: Obsessed by Portia

As I arrived for my meet-up at our local hang-out, Moe’s Espresso, I reflected on my friendship with Portia of Obsessed by Portia.  Whether you follow her or not, she is an amazing woman and I was instantly met with a smile and a hug as we haven’t gotten to sit down and visit in …

Finding My Tribe

Friendships change.  This may or may not come as a surprise to many of you, but over the course of your lifetime, friendships and what define them, change.  In our youth, our friends were who lived in our neighborhoods or went to our church or school. As we got older we defined our friendship with …

Galentine’s Day

Galentine’s Day? Have you been hearing about this unofficial holiday lately? I’m here to tell you what it is, why we celebrate it more and more every year and why you shouldn’t wait for a made-up holiday to celebrate the amazing women in your life.  Are you looking for a few awesome ideas? Do you …

Women Who Inspire

Two years ago I began this journey as a blogger, a content creator.  I did this because I wanted other women, other mothers to know that they aren’t alone. Each and every one of us has a story to tell.  I decided, with the encouragement of many, that it was time to tell my story.  …

Creative Content

How many of you out there love social media for the amazing photos that people share? Facebook allows us to upload photo albums of our latest vacations. Instagram gives us a great avenue for those foodie photos of an amazing cup of coffee or to-die-for dessert. It’s also now easier to fall into the compare …

Evolve – Time to Redefine Myself

I am now two years into my blogging journey. Am I making a ton of money? Nope. Am I huge on IG or FB? Nope. I didn’t start this journey to do that, I thought at the time, so I really shouldn’t be surprised. I started this to blog to share my journey to becoming …

The Next Five People You Meet

No, this isn’t a review of the Mitch Albom book, “The a Five People You Meet in Heaven.” Although I’ve read it and seen the movie. It was definitely an interesting take on the idea of life and heaven. You should read it. Sorry, I got side tracked there for a moment. I think what …

Family & Christmas & Kids

It’s the holidays and we’ve recently had a few of our younger friends ask us how we spent the holidays once the boys were born. I’m going to preface this with, yes, we are obviously still married. We don’t have the difficult decision facing families with kids where the parents are no longer together. My …

Two Days in PDX: Portland, OR

This is what you’re thinking… girls’ overnight in Portland = a blog about partying and lots of alcohol and that’s it. Nope. I’m just letting you know before you read further and are disappointed. My girls’ overnight looks a heck of a lot different. Ours starts at 4am wake up…. Traveling with friends is not …

Stepping Outside My Box, Again

My favorite thing about starting my blog a little over a year ago, was that I get to share with you that life outside of kids can be, and should be amazing.  That’s not to say that it has been easy.  It hasn’t.  Life after the boys went off to college was met with tears …

Blogfest: Finding My Tribe

When I was trying to decide the order of my blog posts about Blogfest and Idea World, I struggled with what to do first.  There were so many great things about the event that I wanted people out there in the blogisfere to know about how was I going to keep it to just one …

Surviving College Graduations

As readers here at Before and After My Empty Nest, you know that I am mom to twin boys. We’ve raised them, sent them off to college and now it was time for them to graduate. How could four years have flown by so quickly? Besides regular everyday life, there were so many things to …

Perspectives on Behavior

Today’s guest blog is written by our son Josh.  While home on a recent visit from college, I asked for his perspective on parenting, from the other side of the parenting equation, the child.  Josh is currently finishing his degrees at Washington State University, WSU, with graduation fast approaching in May 2018.  He will be …

Getting Out of My Funk

So I am going to be perfectly honest here.  I have been in a total funk lately.  I don’t have this happen all that often, very rarely in fact. For the past few months, between work, the holidays, the realization that our twins are graduating from college in May and life I just haven’t felt …

Home From College

They Are Home!!!! The holidays are fast approaching. You’ve cooked for days.  You’ve planned all of your child’s favorite meals.  You are picking them up from the airport or their college on Friday and keeping them until Sunday.  You have every minute of the day planned.  You have missed your child so much your heart …

Adventure Days

We’ve had over 31 years of adventure days, my husband and I.  When people ask me how we’ve made our marriage work for over 30 years, this is what I tell them…. The Best Advice A month before my wedding, my grandmother pulled me aside and gave me two pieces of advice.  One, marriage is …

Terracotta Warriors…Amazing!

The city of Seattle always has so many fun things going on, especially during the summer.  A couple weeks ago I attended the Natsu Matsuri 2017 at Uwajimaya Seattle. There was a fantastic parade, performers and food booths. While at the event, the Pacific Science Center had a booth showcasing the current exhibit, Terracotta Warriors …

MamaCon Rocks!

What is MamaCon? MamaCon is all about supporting and building your mama tribe. Last weekend they had their signature event, MamaCon, in Bellevue, Washington.  I was invited to attend by LeAnne Kabat, CEO. I had no idea what to expect. With my friend Georgina Shaffer, owner of Azul SUP Yoga, we headed to Arlington to …

Road Trips With Kids

Have you started making your adventure plans yet? Summer will be here before we know it.  While we are now empty nest parents, we still do road trips. We are a traveling family. My husband travels with his job. Before the boys, I traveled with my job. As a couple we traveled. As a family, …

Boost Your Business Event

Two weeks ago I headed out to Facebook’s Boost Your Business event in Seattle, WA.  You have probably seen these events pop up in your feed from time to time. I have. If you are a small business owner or work for a small business in the capacity, I highly recommend you attend. Why? It’s …

Living Up to Expectations

Where did my time go? It’s 6:15am on a Thursday and I am finally sitting down to write my post for the week. I am not a procrastinator. People who know me know that I am punctual and really hate leaving things undone.  Give me a deadline and I will not only meet it, I …

An Hour Well Spent (My Personal Shopper Experience)

The Next Step I hope you have enjoyed watching my journey on Finding My New Look. It all started with my visit to Divalani Style boutique in Bellevue, WA for an event by my friend and fellow blogger, Portia Smith of Obsessed by Portia.  Skip back a few posts to read all about it. I met …

A Quiet Spring Break

2017 is our third year of Spring Break, college version.  We live in Arlington, Washington which is about an hour North of Seattle. We love our small town, but we also love that we have access to a bigger city as well as the ocean, mountains, lakes and rivers. Here is our reality. We work, …

Raising Twins

I always hated “Double Trouble”.  I always responded back, “Double Blessing!” After 9 years of married life, several jobs, multiple moves and a second house later we had twin boys.  I will never forget dialing into my work voicemail at the Detroit airport before my flight home to Milwaukee.  This was before cell phones, so …

Finding My New Look

My life is changing.  Michael and I are stepping out more.  I am off on exciting new adventures as a blogger. It is time for a new look.  No, I’m not getting rid of the old look.  I will still have lots of posts on Facebook and Instagram with me in yoga poses and casual …

Stepping Outside My Box

This week I had the opportunity to step outside my box, my comfort zone. Twice. I highly recommend you jump on experiences in life when you can. Divalani Style Fellow blogger, Portia Smith of Obsessed by Portia, provided my first foray into fashion. I will be honest that I am not a fashionista.  I live …

Being Your Child’s Advocate

I am a Mama Bear. When it comes to our children my husband would say I am a total mama bear watching out for her cubs. I would have to agree 100%.  We were married 9 years before we were blessed with them and I will not apologize to those out there that crossed onto …

Ready for Spring! Trying to be more spontaneous

What’s in your trunk? It’s getting close to Spring here in the Pacific Northwesr and I have decided that I am going to be ready for what life and the weather throws me.   Like many of you, I am a fair weather explorer. I don’t mind the cold, I am a Wisconsin born transplant …

Finding Your Passion

Now What? Now that you have survived that first month with the kids away what do we do with the remaining hours in our day?  Maybe you already have a plan.  Maybe you are already passionate about something.  Maybe, like me, you dabbled here and there and did things you liked when life allowed, but …

Goals, Cleaning and Ally McBeal (Month 1 of Life as an Empty Nest Mom)

I know, that’s a strange title for my first blog post.  Maybe it’s too long.  Oh well.  Here it goes…. My name is Kathy Rodriguez.  I am 52 years old this year.  I’ve been married for 31 wonderful years and have twins that are now 21-year-old men.  Awk!  21!  This is year three of our …

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