Five Secret Steps To Empty Nest Nesting; The Starter Set / by Mary Jennings

My husband and I are newly empty nested.  This is the first time we have lived together in our house without sharing our space and time with our children and additional family in our care.  We do still have the dog and she gets blamed for things every now and again, but for the most part we are in a living environment we haven't experienced in over 20 plus years.  

It's time to nest in our newly empty nest.  I have come up with a list of ways to nest that are simple, but very forgotten.  I have appreciated of the below steps over the recent weeks.  

1. Start with some great soap and/or shampoo. I’ve been buying soap and shampoo/conditioner in bulk for years and decided it was time to get more carefully crafted soaps found in health food stores.  I took my time shopping for the best scents and brought home a cornucopia of bars to enjoy and sample.  It’s been so fun to try new special things in such an everyday place.   

2. Find some healthy whole grain bread from the bakery.  I have been making peanut butter and jelly for so many years. I’ve basically used the same brand of whole wheat bread the entire time. I happen to love bread and I also try my best to avoid eating it. It was time that I started buying bread that was the best for me and had the best flavor.  I’ve been on the hunt for whole grain bread. I've been to bakeries and farmer’s markets and have been so disappointed by the lack of healthy bread options.  My next creative project is to make some whole grain bread myself.  I’ve found a recipe that seems simple enough to match my lack of baking skill; can’t wait to try it out. 

3. Get some fancy water bottles.  Every parent has had a tower of water bottles in their house to keep their young well hydrated or world wide apocalyptic event.  I am so over all of that!  I’ve never really liked contributing to the destruction of the world through crunchy plastic waste, so I have been on a reusable water bottle quest. For some time, I’ve enjoyed the collapsable, BPA free, plastic water bottles.  They’re great for travel and the gym.  My latest fancy water bottle is glass and has a basket in the middle for infusing. It’s so classy. Some of my favorite combinations have been strawberry/lime, cucumber/melon, watermelon/basil, and plain grapefruit.  

4. Go to nice places to eat. This is not just eating or grabbing a quick bite between events now.  Going out to eat IS the event. Select some nice places and even dress for the event.  Stay for more than a half an hour and get what you want. If you can’t finish it all, take it home for your next meal. Fear not! Your leftovers are safe now that the kids are gone. 

5. Go shopping at stores just to look.  Or take a drive just to enjoy the ride with the one you love. It’s all time well spent.  I've always wondered about those people who go to a store for one thing.  I am now seeing that pattern developing in my life. It's nice not to need so much. Go to a fun store and make it a creative play date.  

This kind of nesting is the best place to start this new chapter together and your kids will notice the fresh face, healthy, happy, hydrated look on your face when they come back home to roost….it's inevitable. 

Please share with me some of your ideas on how to nest again.  I would love to hear them.