We’re Going On An Adventure

Otherwise known as our life. And we leave in less than two weeks! (Actually move from our apartment in South Florida to become gypsies, digital nomads, or like I like to call it, Airbnb’ers!)

I can hardly believe it. What once was a thought of, talked through, pipe dream is fast becoming our reality, and I cannot wait to tell you about it.

First things first, a little about my story. My hubby and I are anything but traditional. We moved and lived to Panama for 6 months early in our dating life. We came back and got married on the sly. And then, once we were back (home,) Nick found himself his dream job and we left and moved to Florida.

And today, we are coming up on almost three (HOT) years in Florida. It’s really crazy how fast it went. Wow.

And now, we’re on to the next!


We plan to spend most of August and September back home (in Wisconsin,) almost all of October traveling, November back here in the Florida life and by Christmas we will be to my mom and step dad’s in Arizona. Whew!

From there, we plan to spend most of  2019 on the west coast. We have lots of love for California, Washington and Oregon, and are excited to visit new states and areas, too!

The end of this year will go fast and there are so many things I am looking forward to. A Brewer’s game back home, seeing friends and family, walking on the lake path in Lake Geneva and my favorite egg rolls ever are just the beginning.

Maybe I should back up and preface all of this with, both my husband and I have the ability to work remotely. Travel and seeing the nation (and the world!) is on both of our hearts and with the remote work option, neither of us can say exactly where we want to live “forever” or where we want to be even for now. We want to see, and be, in it all!

We talked about this life, this dream, this possibility..all the way back when we lived in Panama. Truly, that feels like a long time ago. It’s crazy how much time has passed, how many things have changed, and all that has happened to us in the last five years.

And now, we both are in completely new professions that hold our passions and allow us to live out our other passions, too, like spending time with our people and traveling. old-1130743_1920

Life has not always been easy and sometimes, it still isn’t. But things happen and you have to be flexible, and be as positive and patient as you can!

I am so excited. It’s hard to believe. But for now, I must go. I need to pack my life, my place, and my suitcase! (We’re off to Vancouver Canada at the end of this week for 10 days,) and we move three days after coming back. Oy! Oh yes, and don’t forget about that work life, too!

Thanks for reading and do me a favor and put in a prayer for us! Life may not have turned out like we “wanted it to,” or even how we thought it would. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t turned our exactly how it was supposed to.

I can’t wait to share this journey with you and all of my continued love for natural everything, delicious food, God, workouts, friends and family, travel and everything else Emmy!


Happy Halloween, and Happy Birthday to Me!

That’s right, I’m a holiday baby. Want to learn more about me? Here’s 33 Emmy facts for you:

1. I love garlic.garlic.jpg

2. I’m a clean freak.

A clutter-free and clean (but not necessarily scrubbed) house is my fave.

3. I think the best everyday workout would be doing an obstacle course 5K.

4. I love lilacs.

I always imagined my future house having light purple, dark purple and white lilacs. Lilacs are my idea of the first official sign of summer, however, they’re also something my husband seems to have an awful allergic reaction to:(

5. Fireworks are my most favorite thing, therefore making the 4th of July my favorite DSC_5210holiday.

6. I love painted nails, but hate getting manis and pedis. I don’t like when people pick, and cut at my nails, so I do it myself.

7. I love Spanish.

And everything about it. The food, culture, music and language are amazing.

8. I moved to Panama for 5 months with my boyfriend (now husband) in the winter 2013, which happened to be one of the worst winters in WI since we’ve been alive.

9. I’m a five times self-published writer.

Four cookbooks, one wellness tips book, and more to come!

10. I have watched children professionally for over 20 years, that is ⅔ of my life that I spent with other people’s children=) #bestjobever

11. Jazzercise is my favorite workout.

12. I’m a girly girl.12592258_825742764220201_667262404304408035_n

I love to paint my nails, dress up and do my hair.

13. I’m a tomboy, too.

I grew up fishing, camping, hiking and generally outside. I still love all of these activities.

14. I am obsessed with Dawson’s Creek and Sex in the City, and have watched all the seasons of both shows, several times over.

15. I make my own wine.Screenshot_20170410-131303

I would love to do it up big and mass produce my own brand with labels and flavors and all, but for now it is just for me and my peps.

16. My favorite movie of all time is Man on Fire.

17. I like all music except for “Scream-O.” You know, where you can’t hear the words just a lot of shrill screaming? Ya, I don’t like that.

18. I love to walk and hike.

19. I don’t like when people touch my face. Please don’t.

20. Fall is my favorite season and I would love to live somewhere that’s between 50ish and 75ish degrees almost year-around.

21. I’m not a huge sports fan.

But I love baseball and the Milwaukee Brewers.milwaukee-brewers-throwback-logo-patch_1

22. My husband and I spoke of a “pipe dream” a few years ago, to both become remote (workers) and work and live wherever we chose. Less than 3 years later, and we’ve all but made it happen.

23. My hair is the longest it’s ever been. And I love it.

24. Deep fried Oreo’s are my most favorite indulgence. They are beyond delicious.

25. I experienced love at first site.

I don’t even know if love at first site is a thing, all I know is I knew I loved my husband before I even met him. From that very first second, I knew that he was the one I wanted to spend my days with.

26. I love freshwater lakes.IMG_20170818_085239

27. Last year Nick took me to watch the sunrise on the east coast of FL and watch the sunset on the west coast of FL. This was by far my favorite birthday gift ever, and a total surprise, as I once said I wanted to do that in passing and he not only remembered it but made a whole weekend out of it.

28. Essential oils are life. I use them for everything and love them. Best decision I ever made.

29. My favorite Disney movie is The Emperor’s New Groove. If you’ve seen it, I know you Grooveposterlove it, too. If you haven’t, go watch it right away!

30. I want to go to Italy. The pictures, views, and history are amazing and I want to eat everything Italian.

31. I picked out my own wedding ring and never looked back. I knew Nick was the one, the ring was the one, and that was it.

32. We got married in my hometown court house on 8/13/14, the second anniversary of our first date. Awwwwwwwww.

33. Today, I turn 33 and you know what? I’ll probably get carded at dinner, LOL.

Feel like you know me better now? Is there a fun fact you want to share with me?

Oh, wait, I have one more. Nick and I are both holiday babies, so watch for a Christmas Eve edition for 33 things about my hubby=)

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed learning more about me. And Happy Halloween!! XOXO


Exploring Indiana: Chateau Thomas Winery

I was just sitting in Vegas, after finishing (and publishing) the final edits on my fourth cookbook, and to say that a glass of wine was on my mind was more than true! LOL. After all, in FL, it was almost 5pm!

(Whenever you can find a Groupon, do it. They almost always include extras no matter what you’re doing, and you get a discount. What’s better than that?)

When we were work traveling earlier this year, we went to a winery, grabbed a last second Groupon deal, and had a great time. That’s what I should have done..gone to find a winery..

Anyhow, back to it. The Indiana winery we visited was great, and I knew we had made a great choice when the first wine I chose was a no-go.

“You don’t want that one,” she whispered to me. I chose Pinot Noir from my tasting sheet. I love a good Pinot Noir. I also love someone who’s honest enough to tell me the truth about a wine.

“You don’t like it?” I asked.

“No one does,” she countered with a laugh. I was convinced.

My first and only Indiana wine experience happened at the Cheateau Thomas Winery. The winery was super cute, there was a sassy fun lady doing our tasting, and the wine was good, too.

We found this winery at the last minute, along with a Groupon. The Groupon was $25 for two tastings, two souvenir wine glasses, cheese and crackers, a complementary wine bottle holder/carrier, and $10 to spend in the shop.

We liked the wines that we had at Chateau Thomas Winery. We especially liked the Peach chateau-thomas-winery-abe-martin-peach-chardonnay-indiana-usa-10751851tChardonnay, so much so that we took a bottle with us. The nose was all peach and the taste was light and refreshing.

In an unexpected twist, I found myself enjoying a port wine, too. Usually not a fan, she convinced me to try it. The outcome? It really was delicious. The trick is to drink it with chocolate.


First,  melt 2-3 chocolate chips in your mouth and then take a drink of port with the melted chocolate. The combination was heavenly, and I was glad to have taken the suggestion.

Along with the wine we bought a little bag of spices to make a mulled wine. It’s a warm and very winter-y combination and when we visited with the in-laws, we all enjoyed it together.

Check this place out. It’s awesome and for that matter, so is the rest of the Midwest!

On a road trip? Here’s some delicious healthy snacks to bring with you!   Staying in? These snacks would all pair well with a glass of wine two! (As in, two glasses of wine=)

This snack mix is good anytime!

These chocolates taste so yummy and would be delicious with a port wine.

And I love these bars!

You Need These 10 Things To Make Wine

You can do it! But heed my words..

Wine making can be a difficult, specific process. There’s nothing more important than sanitation, and if you mess that up (I have yet to,) your whole batch is a waste.

With that being said, if you make wine often, you will get used to the process, and enjoy the “fruit wine” of your labor for years to come. How fun is that?

To start, read my intro. Next, read Make Wine with Me: The Do’s of Winemaking.

And what follows is next. These are 10 things that you need to make wine.   These items are essential to have before you start.

To Make Wine, You Need These 10 Things:

-granulated white sugar (about 2 cups)


-1 bottle (64 ounces/96 ounces,) 100% juice plus one empty bottle of the same size

-champagne yeast




-2-3 wine bottles and corks (or screw top wine bottles)

Reuse old screw top bottles!

-sanitizing solution (mine is 1 tablespoon solution to 1 gallon water ratio and a no-rinse solution)

sanitizing solution

-hose and suction, or funnel that will fit into the top of your wine bottles

-hydrometer (optional but will tell you how much alcohol is in your wine)

-a measuring cup (1 cup size,) a tablespoon, and a (clean) bucket or bowl that can easily hold 2-3 gallons of liquid

Everything on this list can be found at brew stores or wine supply stores. You can also find most of it online, and if you click on the images below it links to amazon for easy purchase.

As a follow up to this blog and for further information, here’s a video:


If you buy this champagne yeast, it will last you for so long! Only get it if you need lots. (Otherwise, just buy one or two packets at a time.)

This is a combo pack of airlocks and bungs, and it’s great to have two of each if you’re just starting out!

This set of funnels will work well:

And this hydrometer is great because it comes with a tester tube, too, making measuring your wines alcohol level quick and easy!

Leave any questions in the comments and watch for upcoming videos and articles to learn to make wine at home!

Happy Tuesday and Happy Wineing!

Exploring Ohio: The Old Mason Winery

With colorful wine flights, a 77-degree day, and a table in the shade, this wine tasting was pretty much perfect. We couldn’t have enjoyed trying and tasting each others wines more.

Driving through about 5 miles of hills, trees, and natural beauty, I knew we were about to go over the border. Crossing the state line from Indiana to Ohio was physically different from most of Indiana, so beautiful, and all new to me.

With lots of driving and less than a day of stay, we knew we didn’t have much time. But we just had to squeeze in a winery stop and Old Mason Winery was it. With a cute upper loft and several tables inside and out, it was a great wine stop from the start.

There were two wine flight options, $6 for 5-1 ounce tastings or $12 for 5-2 ounce Screenshot_20170601-102433tastings.

The Wine

As a fruit winemaker myself, I always love to sample new and different fruit wines. Old Mason Winery’s Concord was very similar to mine and delicious. The Statesman tasted like a blend of concord and another sweet wine and was also a favorite of mine.

I also really enjoyed the white blend, White Blossom.

Fruit wine isn’t my husband’s favorite but it turns out that The Razz, raspberry wine, was his favorite here. It’s no surprise to us that The Razz is Old Mason’s best seller.

If you’re ever in Ohio, passing through or otherwise, Old Mason Winery is a great stop. With snacks, drinks, and a great place to enjoy them, don’t miss out on this fun find.

Happy exploring!




Make Wine with Me: The Do’s of Winemaking

These are the do’s of winemaking. The more you know, the better your wine batch will turn out. And this is where I come in. I’m no expert but I’ve made a lot and I can’t wait for you to make wine with me!

Tape the cap to the bottle during fermentation.

For now, heed these tips and watch for the materials article so you can start to gather what you need. This leads me to my first point:

  1. Get everything you need before you start. (A conclusive list is coming so make sure to watch for it!)
  2. Sanitation is the most important step. Do it correctly to ensure that your wine is safe to drink.
  3. Track dates and info throughout the steps. Trying to do it after the fact is not only hard but you will probably make a mistake.
  4. Find a place where your wine can sit and ferment. You need a warm, temperature
    Fully Fermented

    consistent place with no sun. Right around 80 is the best yeast temperature, so the warmer the better.

  5. Keep the cap (and see picture.)
  6. Use wine bottles with screw on tops! Just buy, drink, and save about three bottles with tops. (Unless you have a corker you will need screw tops to start.)
  7. Be patient. The airlock needs to stop bubbling before you can rack the wine. The picture to the right is how it should look when it’s done.

More wine making articles are set to come out and we are on track to start our first batch soon.

Leave comments or questions if you have them and get excited to become a winemaker too! XOXO

My Love For Wine (And Why You Should Care)

When I saw a Groupon for a wine making class, I bought it. And that was that. I left the class a soon-to-be, self-proclaimed winemaker!

Screenshot_20170410-131314I started drinking wine much like everyone else. I never liked the wine at holidays growing up but the fruity, sweet wines always tasted yummy. I went from Boones Farm to Moscato, and then I met my husband.

Nick liked all the wines when we met and thus my push into wine life began. I tried everything white and blush. I soon realized I liked a semi sweet Reisling almost as much as a Moscato. It took me a while to come around to the reds, but I soon did.

The first red wine I really enjoyed was a full-flavored, smokey Zinfandel. Well I’m still not sure how I went from not liking any reds to a smokey Zin, that’s what happened.

After the wine class, Nick bought me a deluxe wine making kit as a gift and I was ready. The first (33 bottle) batch of wine I made was a Cabernet. I was nervous but I meticulously followed the directions (SO hard for a non rule follower!) and it turned out tasty. However, the batch was huge and because it was a Cab, the longer I waited to drink it, the better it tasted.

I wanted to do something else. I wanted to make wine that was in smaller batches with more flavors. I wanted a way to test flavors and additions and not spend months on end for each batch. Screenshot_20170410-131303

This is when I started making fruit (juice based) wine. Store bought juice mixed with granulated white sugar and then topped with a 1/4 teaspoon of champagne yeast. Less than two months and it was done.

And the flavors, oh the flavors! As long as you get a 100% fruit juice (or juice with only other juice or sugar added) you can mix and match almost anything together and see what you get.

As much as I love to try things, I also hate to waste batches or even parts of batches based off of “doing it wrong,” possible sanitation issues, or just not liking the taste.

So this is my story and here’s why it’s awesome: because I’m going to teach you how!

Do you want to make your own fruit wine from home? Follow my blog for a step by step guide.

This article is only part one of the series. Watch for more (and videos) including what you need to make wine, the steps, the timing, the how-to’s, the DONT’s, and more!

Happy Friday and Happy Wineing!



Day Trip: Explore Homestead FL

FL was never somewhere I pictured living but almost 2 years in, I can officially say I’ve lived in FL. 4 months out of the year, I kinda love it here. The weather is pretty great and there’s always lots to do.

Living in South Florida is any “day trippers” paradise with unlimited activities all around. It’s so easy to jump on a dinner and show cruise some random weekend or take a day trip and visit a new city. For a few hours or a whole day, you can pretend you’re on vaca.

Visit Homestead for lots of fun, touristy things. Our day trip included a guided trolley ride to Biscayne Park where we walked around the land and viewed the visitors center. After a quick lunch, we explored the grounds of the Fruit and Spice Park. Fruit filled wines finished our day at Schnebly’s Winery.

Lots of pictures follow showing views at the national park, a peanut plant and pineapple plant at the fruit and spice park and I share my favorite wine pick from the winery. Take a look through our day and plan a your own there- Homestead awaits you!

Free Trolley

Homestead offers a free trolley to visit Biscayne and Everglades National Forest. Admission into the parks is waived too, so take the trolley! It’s more relaxing than driving and best of all makes the whole experience cost nothing more than gas to get there. For the trolley schedule and information on the parks, check out Homestead’s city website.

Biscayne National Park

Right on the water, this park is a beauty! Trees, rocks, and walking paths along the water lead you around the grounds and back to the nature center. Filled with pictures and fun facts, this center is a fun finish to the park.

Fruit and Spice Park

This place is a must visit if you’re ever in Homestead! With over 500 species of plants and spices, this park is like nothing you’ve experienced before. It’s costs about $8/person to get in. Be careful, they have very specific rules. You cannot buy any fruit and you may not pick any off the trees. Anything that has fallen is fair game but nothing is allowed to be carried out either.

In the gift shop and lobby, there are samples of fruits for you to try. There were several things to try while we were there including coconut, star apples and mini bananas.

The best part of the park is walking around and seeing all of the different trees, bushes, and plants of the things we like to eat!

Peanut plant! How fun is this?
Cinnamon Apple Tree
This tree wasn’t marked but we liked it anyhow.
These two toned green trees are some of my favorite FL trees


Allspice Tree
FL Spring Flowers!
The babiest mango!
On a search for fallen mangoes


Avocado tree
Perfect Palms


Love the name of this- Fried Egg Tree



Schnebly Winery 


Our last stop was Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery. We had a Groupon for a wine tasting (5 tastes,) 1 pour and a keepsake wine glass for us both. The winery is in a great open spot and has an attached brewery. They also serve delicious, sustainable local food.

As a fruit wine maker and connoisseur, I have to admit their wine isn’t my favorite. I did enjoy the CocoVino however and Nick liked several of the wines he tried. All in all, it was a great experience and I would go back. Events like live music and the atmosphere combine for a great weekend out for locals and tourists alike.

Our souvenir wine glasses

Homestead is a great place to visit. Not only would we recommend the city to others, we plan to go back ourselves!

Homestead is a thriving town filled with fun things to do. We’d like to visit Everglades National Park, a berry farm, the local city museum, and more on our return trip.

We look forward to returning to Homestead and wish you all happy exploring!





25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

emmy tulips1. I love garlic

It’s so healthy for you and acts as a natural antibiotic. I use it daily in cooking and cannot get enough.

2. I am a clean freak.

I always leave my house staged and detest clutter.

3. I am the worst singer ever.

Though I sing, in ridiculous tones, to my husband daily. Everything from Happy Birthday to renditions of Christmas songs with my own made up lyrics.

4. I once got lost in Mexico.

I was walking around one day alone and realized I was lost, with no phone number or address to find my way. I remember a huge yellow building that was at the end of the street my host family lived on and found my way before dark. Phew!

5. I love lilacs.

My future house will have light purple, dark purple and white lilacs. Lilacs are my idea of the first official sign of summer

6. Fireworks are my most favorite thing and therefore the 4th of July is my favorite holiday. 

7. In college, I used to call into radio stations to contribute to the morning talk shows.

8. I love Spanish.

And everything about it. The food, culture, music and language are amazing.

9. I moved to Panama for 5 months with my boyfriend (now husband) in the winter 2013, which happened to be one of the worst winters in WI since we have been alive.

10. I have watched children professionally for over 20 years, that is ⅔ of my life that I have spent with other people’s children!

11. I love to play

I love to play games and with toys and on playgrounds, especially swinging. I think this is why I so enjoy my time with kids.

12. I am a girly girl.

I love to paint my nails, dress up and and my nails and hair.

13. I am a tomboy too.

I grew up fishing, camping, hiking and generally outside. I still love all of these activities

14. I am obsessed with the show Dawson’s Creek.

I literally watch the entirety of all 6 seasons a couple times a year, and this started several years ago. Meaning I have watched it through 5+ times. (I am currently in the middle of season 5.)

15. I make my own wine.

I would love to do it up big and mass produce my own brand with labels and flavors and all, but for now it is just for me and my peps.

16. To-Do lists are my thing

I make them for everything, everyday. There is no better satisfaction then checking off tasks after I accomplish them.

17. I like all music except for Scream-O. You know, where you can’t hear the words just a lot of shrill screaming? Ya, I don’t like that.

18. I would walk everywhere if I could.

I love to go walking, whether it is my first time exploring a place or if I got there as often as I can. I always try to carry something when I walk because my fingers swell terribly:/

19.Don’t touch my face, ever. Just don’t. 

20. My eyes are human levels. 

If something is hanging crooked, I have to fix it. Even in public,  it bothers me and my husband teases me about it.

21. I am not a huge sports fan.

But I love baseball. I am a Milwaukee Brewers fanatic.

22. I am short.

I have a very short torso but my legs are long and the same length as friends that are 3-4 inches taller than myself.

23. I have very waxy ears.

I have to clean them out daily and hate to wear earbuds because I am always battling my incessant earwax.

24.Deep fried oreo’s are my most favorite indulgence. They are beyond delicious

25. I experienced love at first site.

I don’t even know if love at first site is as thing, all I know is I knew I loved my husband before I even met him and from the very first second, I knew that he was the one I wanted to spend my days with.

Wine Me

 10 elements to consider BEFORE deciding to become a Winemaker

    1. You have to buy a deluxe kit- that includes everything you need- except for the rest of the things that you need.

    2. You will read through the directions and have a clear idea of the steps, equipment and processes- because you googled each word you didn’t know within the steps, a picture to go along with the name of each piece of equipment and what exactly the directions meant for each process.
    3. You will have to return to the brewing store- several times.
    4. You will test and monitor the temperature of the room you now refer to as your laboratory- morning, noon and night- for weeks in anticipation of thinking of considering to maybe think about considering starting your first batch of wine.
    5. You will make a plan and read the instructions, then reread the instructions, and read them over a final time- as while in the process you can ONLY touch things that have been sanitized. This means if you are doing this yourself or don’t know the next step- you have to start ALL OVER. Leading me to sanitation..
    6. IF YOU DON’T SANITIZE EVERYTHING TO THE EXACT DETAIL AND SPECIFICATION -all of your time, energy and money will go down the drain with your yucky wine.
    7. Sanitation is the most important part of this process and you need to be sure that everything is properly cleaned and then sanitized. Each piece of equipment, including the bucket and carboy, need to be fully submersed within the the sanitizing solution for no less than 2 minutes. Disclaimer- several pieces of equipment float…
    8. And last but not least in regards to sanitation- the bucket and carboy, both of which are 6 gallons need to be fully filled with sanitation solution as to be correctly sanitized- and the “Easy Clean” solution included in your kit is a mere 8 oz. For each gallon of STORE BOUGHT OR SPRING FRESH water, you need a tablespoon of solution. Therefore- the amount of cleaner in your kit is not enough to see you through primary fermentation, much less secondary fermentation, stabilizing and clearing or bottling of your wine.
    9. Plan to spend several hundred on the equipment and the kit and the extras (that you don’t need because everything you need is in your deluxe kit).
    10. Lastly, PRAY that the time and effort and money invested into your new passion were not squandered within the first step of this process- due to improper sanitation.


 This experience will be stressful enough to cause need for drinking wine prior to your wines completion.

All jokes aside, this was my first experience with wine making. I started drinking wine after college due to urging from a friend that, “Moscato is SOOO delicious.” It in fact, is. I now am a connoisseur of all types of wine and last summer attended a wine making class in which I left proclaiming that I would soon be a master the art of fermentation and that would be my new profession. Haha. For my birthday I was gifted said wine (Cabernet) deluxe kit. Cab is one of the hardest to make due to the temperature necessity and the aging process.  I love my new kit and am excited to make more batches of wine for consumption