This post is sponsored by Progresso ™ but all opinions are my own.
We have officially been empty nesters for six years now and I’m still not sure if I’m used to it yet. I often have people who follow me on Instagram comment on how fun I make empty nesting look. Well, everything looks fun on Instagram, right!? Since we’ve been doing this empty nester thing for six years now we’ve learned a few things and have discovered that being an empty nester can be fun!
For those of you who won’t be empty nesters for a long time, go ahead and pin this post for future reference, share it with your parents or with an empty nester friend. For all of you empty nesters out there, I’d love to hear what you have to say about being an empty nester. Leave me a comment below and give me your best tips for surviving the empty nest!
So today I’ve got some of the ways we have survived and thrived as empty nesters.
Eat dinner together. I am a big supporter of the family dinner table. We worked hard to eat dinner together as often as possible when the kids were home even with their crazy schedules. As empty nesters, it’s easy to get away from that. Sometimes it’s easier to just sit in front of the TV or at the counter and eat, together or by yourself because the other one is off somewhere else. We eat dinner together every night, at the table. The one rule we have had to enforce was you can’t come to the dinner table in your pajamas. One of the first nights we were empty nesters my husband showed up in his pajamas for dinner. I made him go upstairs and change. We eat dinner in our clothes! It’s kind of a joke now as he’ll ask me if we can please eat dinner so he can put on his pajamas. Learning to cook for just two people was also an adjustment. It took me a few years to figure out how to make salad for just two people!
Cooking on a regular basis is more of a challenge as an empty nester also. The incentive to cook each night just isn’t as strong when there are only two of you to feed. My husband is very grateful for this blog because he knows it keeps me cooking! I do have a repertoire of quick and easy meal ideas that I use and one of them is Progresso ™ soup. Progresso is a staple in my kitchen pantry and we love a bowl of soup for dinner along with some crusty bread. Progresso soups taste amazing and it couldn’t be any easier, you don’t even have to add water! They are made with white meat chicken with no antibiotics ever. They are as close to homemade as you can get! Depending on the soup, I will dress them up with a little cheese, some chips or crackers or some fresh herbs.
Tailgate Together. My husband is a big sports fan and even though I am not, we do enjoy attending ballgames for the local high school and for our children’s college alma maters (which also happens to be our alma mater). We love supporting our neighborhood kids who now play on the high school teams our children use to play on. With Progresso Soup, packing up an easy but delicious tailgate meal couldn’t be easier. One of my favorite soups is their Tortilla Soup. It is full of yummy goodness. I just add a few tortilla chips and grated cheese to the top and no one ever knows it is not homemade.
Dress Up. When my children were at home, I put a lot of time and effort into their Halloween costumes so I never even thought about dressing up. When our youngest left home six years ago I decided it was time for my husband and I to start dressing up. Each year I pick a famous couple and put together costumes for us. It is so much fun and now our friends and neighbors can’t wait to see who we will be each year. You can see this year’s costume here. We also host an adult Halloween dinner party each year and we invite our other empty nester friends to dress up and join us for dinner.
Borrow the Neighbor Kids. When we miss our kids we borrow the neighbors kids. We are in that in between stage of empty nesting where our kids are gone but we don’t have any grandchildren yet (first one due in December!) So, we love to play grandma and grandpa to the neighbor kids. Each Halloween we host a Halloweenie Roast for all the neighbor kids and at Christmas we invite them to a Breakfast with Santa at our house. We also let them come over and pick produce from the garden, play in the yard and my husband even volunteers to babysit! They are also the lucky recipients of all the goodies I make for the blog!
Date Night. Even though every night becomes date night when you are empty nesters, be sure you have official “date nights.” Whether it be to the discount movie on Tuesday night, a picnic and concert in the park or a dinner date on Friday night, call it a date. We love to invite other empty nesters to join us on dates, because, honestly it’s just nice to have someone else to talk to! One of our favorite empty nester dates is going out to breakfast on Saturday morning. In the summer it is usually to the Farmer’s Market but the rest of the year we love finding new places in Portland for breakfast.
Being an empty nester definitely takes some getting used to and it takes some work and effort, but there is life after children and it can be amazing!
Be sure and check out the complete line of Progresso soups here. There are so many amazing soups to choose from.
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