Recap of 2018 and What’s Next

This month Picture Retirement will enter its third year of publication. We thank each of you who have been faithful readers and look forward to continuing our retirement journey with you through this website.

We hope that the content we share will encourage you to view this stage of life with the same optimism and positive energy in which we live it. We won’t offer advice, beyond how to pack a suitcase for a thirty-day vacation, or how to make a dirty martini, and we will never claim to be retirement experts. We have no ‘end game’ for our blog, and genuinely wish to share, in pictures and words what joy and contentment look like from our point of view. If you  take away a thing or two that can be applied to your life, or at the very least, something that makes you smile, then we are happy with our effort. Continue reading

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Good Tidings for Christmas…

Entertaining friends and family during the month of December is just one of the many ways we celebrate Christmas. Most of our celebrations begin with a signature cocktail to set the tone for the evening. Our belief is that a welcome drink should taste good, look great and make our guests smile.  Why settle for ordinary when you can do this…


Malcolm got the idea for this presentation on Pinterest while he was searching for Christmas cocktails. The heavy plastic ornaments were purchased for about $1 each from a craft store and can be reused.

We placed the drinks on a large tray and invited our guest to open the ornament and pour the liquid over the sugared cranberries at the bottom of the glass. The sprig of rosemary is just to add a bit of seasonal color.

On another occasion, we served white chocolate martinis in these festive glasses. Any simple cocktail is elevated by this presentation. To rim the glasses with sugar, just dip them in water, honey, melted chocolate, lemon juice, etc. to help the sugar adhere.

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Christmas Ornamentini (serves 4)

1 cup vodka
1/2 cup orange liqueur
1/2 cup cherry juice
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup orange juice

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake.

Remove the ornament topper and use a funnel to pour the drink into four clear glass ornaments that have been rinsed. Return the topper to the ornament.

Add sugared cranberries and a rosemary sprig to four martini glasses. Set the ornament in the glass to serve. Open the ornament and slowly pour the contents over the cranberries. Tip: measure the amount you will need in each ornament to avoid spills.

Sugared cranberries

Dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Set aside and add one cup of fresh cranberries. Coat the cranberries with the liquid sugar, remove with a slotted spoon and place onto a rack for about one hour. Roll cranberries in 1/2 cup sugar until all are coated well. Fresh cranberries are tart, but the sugar makes them fun to eat as a snack, or to use as we have, at the bottom of a cocktail.

We wish you merriment and good tidings this holiday season.


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Looking for Fall

It still feels like summer in South Florida, and although we do a very good job of pretending the seasons have changed, it is not the same as breathing mountain air and sipping apple cider while temperatures drop below 50 degrees.

Fortunately, we are not far from some beautiful states that do experience Fall, so when the time is right, we can immerse ourselves in crimson and gold within just a few hours drive. Continue reading

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The Forgotten Coast

This post was first published in August of 2017, when we began our quest to discover how Florida got its coastal names. I was born on the Forgotten Coast, in the very small town of Port St. Joe. The beach, where I spent almost every summer of my childhood is just a few miles down the road. Because of a storm named Michael, you already know its name. This morning they are calling it ground zero as photographs of unimaginable devastation flood the internet. My heart aches for the people of Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach, and an entire region that will forever be altered.


My entire family of more than 32 people live in the path that Michael took. They all survived, some with more damage to their homes than others, but they survived. So today, I re-post this with gratitude that my family was spared, but great sadness that a place filled with so much magic can be changed in an instant.  It is ironic that the Forgotten Coast is on the minds of many today. If it is own your mind, please consider a donation to the Red Cross to support much needed assistance.

The Forgotten Coast

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Finding Your People

Have you noticed how frequently the word “tribe” pops up in relation to women these days? It is a pretty cool buzz word that describes what a lot of us are looking for and possibly longing for at this stage of life. I think the “tribe” analogy applies to anyone, male or female, who might be struggling to find genuine connections after years of affiliations with co-workers. Like me, your core group, and the people you depend on the most, are likely your spouse, family and a few close friends. But, I believe it is necessary to explore beyond that group to find true contentment and fulfillment at this stage of life. So, how do you go about finding your new tribe during retirement? Continue reading

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