What Mom thought was making-do turned out to be some of our most memorable meals as kids.

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Photo of mac & cheese from a box by bhofack2 via depositphotos.com

Money was tight when I was growing up.

As a result, Mom had to get a little creative with cheap meals that would feed a family of 7 which included one girl and four boys.

This was no easy task, but what she thought were poor excuses for dinners actually became our most memorable and favorite meals.

As I was fondly remembering all the things we used to have, I was curious to know if other families did something similar.

I put a call out on social media and received many wonderful and delightful comments. …


Blanket forts, hide and seek, hopscotch and playing in the mud are all things I hope all kids experience.

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Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

Being bored wasn’t an option when I was a kid. My imagination, the neighborhood kids, books from the library, and being outside were all cures for boredom.

Making blanket forts, playing hot lava, making boondoggle bracelets, flattening boxes and putting them on stairs and sliding into a pile of blankets were all normal activities my brothers and I did for fun as kids.

I have ten nieces and nephews and wanted to capture some of these fun boredom buster ideas to pass on so they might experience the magic that happens with many of these activities.

Out of curiosity, I put out a call on social media to find out what other people did as kids for fun before technology ruled our lives. …


Praying to die all while having the most amazing adventure

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Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels

Have you ever prayed to die?

If you’ve ever been seasick, you will know there’s a particularly intense desire to die that comes with it.

I am prone to getting seasick. And when I say prone, I mean I have thrown up pretty much every single time I have ever been on a boat.

You would think that this guaranteed outcome of vomiting would prevent me from deciding to learn how to sail in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Well, folks, I am a little on the crazy side of things and I do things that most people don’t.

I also crave adventure intensely in the same way people crave chocolate. …


You know you’re seasick when your thoughts range from “I’m sailing!” to “Please let me die!”

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Seasick woman illustration by Aleutie

While learning to sail in the middle of the Atlantic, I was able to really define and become familiar with the stages of seasickness.

Based on my experience, here are the stages of seasickness and the thoughts I normally have during each stage.

Stage 1: Pre-trip Confidence

  • Woohoo! I get to go sailing! I’m so excited!
  • Wind in my hair, fresh air, the smell of the sea! What’s not to love!?
  • I’m so prepared this time. I’ve been taking seasickness pills two days in advance. I’m good to go.
  • Here we go!

Stage 2: Initial Inklings and Denial

  • Why am I so tired?
  • I can’t seem to stop yawning.
  • Wait…why am I feeling dizzy and have a headache? …


We will all struggle at times. Just recognizing and accepting that helps.

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Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels

We are living through a pandemic. We know this.

It’s incredibly rough right now for everyone.

We are ALL going to have moments where we are not OK, and that is totally OK.

Everyone is dealing with things the best way they know how. But guess what? We’ve never done this before. So we’re all trying to figure it out.

Why We’re Not OK

We are all experiencing this COVID-19 pandemic in different ways and we will all feel like we are not OK at times.

A few examples of why we’re not OK:

  • We’re all stressed for multiple reasons
  • We’re worried about our health and the health of our loved…


We’re living through a very critical time in history, let’s make sure we don’t forget it…or repeat it.

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Photo by fotografierende from Pexels

History in the Making

We are living during a period in history that when someone asks us where we were during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will remember and if we don’t write down what life is like for us, there’s a good chance we will regret it.

It’s easy to forget that we have survived every experience we’ve ever had in our lives up to this point. But we have. We can do hard things. We’ve done them before and we can do them again and again.

But unless we write our experiences down, we will forget a lot of the meaningful details, our rollercoaster of feelings, and the little things that helped us through. …


We are all in this coronavirus experience together; let’s do what we can to help each other out.

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Photo by lalesh aldarwish from Pexels

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”― Fred Rogers

With the coronavirus hitting pandemic status, the world seems to be in an all-time-high panic and the news and social media aren’t helping.

It just seems to fuel the fear fire that has people fighting over toilet paper, taking things out of people’s shopping carts, and acting in ways they otherwise wouldn’t.

Fred Rogers’ quote about looking for the helpers has been a source of comfort for me throughout the years. We’ve lived through a variety of different tragedies and crises in the past and COVID-19 will not be our last. …


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Image by Voy Zan from Pixabay

A few ideas on how to find your people.

There comes a time in every single adult’s life when you have to go to extremes to make new friends.

A few of the extremes I’m referring to would include:

  • Puking your guts out while learning to sail across the Atlantic
  • Hiking Mt. Fuji and sweating so intensely that you look like you’re lactating
  • Sleeping in tents with strangers in subzero temperatures in the Arctic Circle
  • Experiencing a traditional onsen in Japan that involves bathing naked in front of strangers

Actually, that just might be me.

But I tell you what. It’s working.

Some of my most treasured friendships have come from every single one of these experiences. …


Opposite forces are needed because without one, we could never perceive the other.

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Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

The Law of Polarity

The Law of Polarity states that everything in life has its own polar, equal opposite.

Without one, we would not have the other.

It is up to us to decide how we will perceive them and what side of this pole to experience.

If we did not experience sadness, we would not recognize what it is to experience joy. Without pain, we would not know pleasure.

These polar opposites all work together for the greater good. We need only to understand this law, recognize it in our lives and learn to appreciate this fact.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness? You only truly, deeply appreciate and are grateful for something when you compare and contrast it to something worse.” …


How not checking bus schedules changed my life.

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Photo by Warren Sammut on Unsplash

In March of last year, I found myself in the arctic circle in northern Norway. I had just finished a 7-day cross country skiing adventure across the frozen Finnmark Plateau where I got to sleep in the snow with strangers and be dazzled by the Northern Lights almost nightly.

It was a life-changing experience on its own and one I’ll write about separately, but as I started my way back home, I unexpectedly found myself in the company of a fascinating Sámi reindeer herder.

On our short drive to the tiny airport in Lakselv, Norway, he taught me about reindeer, gave me a peek into his life and what was important to him, and shared what in his life made him happy. …

About

Marianne Jennings

Adventure craver, cheese lover, & favorite aunt. I write fun facts & trivia books. “So You Think You Know Canada, Eh?” out now: https://amzn.to/2vnDhHq

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