Allure of the Seas President’s Cruise Day 3

Allure of the Seas President’s Cruise Day 3

Today is day 3 of our Royal Caribbean Presidents Cruise.  We enjoyed a fun and relaxing sea day on Allure of the Seas before our 3 port days in a row. Time was spent relaxing by the pool and we had NO issue getting a chair, even with a full cruise.  Our day getting some exercise with aqua aerobics and fun in the pool.  After that we enjoyed the excellent piano player at the Schooner Bar, followed by dinner at Sabor.  After dinner and a little dancing we went to the Aqua Show which featured special guest Victor Kee from the Ukraine.  Watch for more from Victor on Icon of the Seas in the near future as he will be involved with the entertainment on Royal Caribbean’s newest ship.  We LOVE the aqua shows on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class Ships.  They never disappoint.  Here’s a link to Viktor Kee: If you enjoyed the video, please leave a comment.  We’d love to hear from you. Have a beautiful day! Mike and Nancy
Highs and Lows of Life in Phase 2

Highs and Lows of Life in Phase 2

Highs and Lows. Grief and Loss. It is part of Phase 2.

We have recently experienced the terrible lows of life’s grief and loss followed in the same week by incredibly joy and highs of life. Recently, in the same week Nancy lost her mother, after a long struggle in hospice and then 7 days later, our youngest child got married.  See the video above to hear our story.

That is Phase 2 of life in a nutshell. You have lots of highs and lows. You can have a new grandchild born, then your family can experience a tragedy. The most important thing is as life throws these highs and lows at you that you don’t get stuck in the lows. Understand these will pass and there will me good times ahead.

If you are feeling overwelled there are resources available.  First talk to your doctor about how you are feeling. Don’t keep it to yourself. You can talk to your faith leader, spouse, friends, or anyone you trust. 

National suicide hotline: Call 988 on your cell phone across the US.

Friends, enjoy your highs and work through your lows.  We wish you all the best through these times of your life.

Have a beautiful day,

Mike and Nancy

Nassau Bahamas Food and Cultural Tour

Nassau Bahamas Food and Cultural Tour

Today we are in Nassau, The Bahamas.

This is a port that often gets a bit of a bad rap. Most people look at it as just having some shopping, Atlantis resort waterpark, and some beaches, but not much more. Also, being such a close port to the East Coast, many cruisers stop there quite often and frankly don’t see much to do there.

However, we found a GREAT tour that explores the culture of the Bahamian through food, while walking around the wonderfully historic city of Nassau. We had an excellent tour guide LISA!!!!!!. She made the tour fun and well as educational.

We hope you enjoy this overview of our tour and that it encourages you to try this excellent tour.

Link to Viator Nassau Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour…

TRU Bahamian Food Tours:

Thanks for watching Friends.  Have a beautiful Phase 2 day.

Mike and Nancy


Traveling to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Sault Ste. Marie

Traveling to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Sault Ste. Marie

Hi Friends.  Today we are traveling from our home to one of our favorite destinations in the world, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, or as it’s called the “UP” and our first stop, Sault Ste. Marie.

It’s a beautiful drive across the Mighty Mackinac Bridge and we even stop for dog at the famous Wienerlicious hot dog stand in Mackinaw City. Yes, it’s spelled differently, but pronounced the same.

We will share some tips and tricks on the drive to the UP and show you some of the charming town that is Sault Ste. Marie.

Join us on our first leg of our trip across the unbelievable beauty that is Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Live life fully in phase 2,

Mike and Nancy

Grandeur of the Seas Boarding Day 1

Grandeur of the Seas Boarding Day 1

Hi Friends.  Follow along with us as we board our cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas.  We will show the boarding process, and what we do right when we get on the ship as well as some of our first day adventures, such as dining at the amazing Chef’s Table.  The Chef’s Table was a treat for sure!

If you are new to cruising and getting ready to go, be sure to see our post and video on How to Pack for a Cruise so you can make the most of your adventure.

Thank you for joining us Friends and make it a great Living Phase 2 Day!

Mike and Nancy

Three Boys Distillery

Three Boys Distillery

Hi Friends!

Today we continue our tour of the Bardstown Kentucky Area with a stop at the 3 Boys Distillery.  It was honestly one of the best distillery experiences we’ve had. 

What made it so great? We love small and local, and this hit the spot.  3 Boys operation is located in a small barn just outside Frankfort Kentucky.  Everything they do is very small batch and every barrel can have a different mash bill (recipe).  You almost never see that.  They can do that since they are not one of the big boys, but a small craft distillery with excellent product.

This tour was a lot of fun, and the tasting was one of the best we’ve experienced.  Take a look at how we got to thieve our very own bottle of bourbon!

This hidden gem of a distillery makes a great stop if you are in the area of Buffalo Trace.

Live life fully in Phase 2!

Mike and Nancy

Dant Crossing Bed and Breakfast Tour and Review

Dant Crossing Bed and Breakfast Tour and Review

In this video, we continue our visit one of our favorite towns in the United States, Bardstown, Kentucky. It’s not only incredibly charming, but it also sits right at the heart of the bourbon trail. Today we show our stay at beautiful Dant Crossing. Dant Crossing is an amazing facility that encompasses multiple bed and breakfast, amphitheater, conference center, Log Still Distillery, lake and many acres of beautiful landscaping. Dant Crossing is located about 15 minutes from Bardstown and about 1 hour from both Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky. It makes a great home base for the bourbon trail. You can get to most of the major bourbon distilleries within ½ to 1 hour from here. We hope this overview of one of the great B & B options in the Bardstown area helps you with your travels and adventures. Live life to the fullest friends! Mike and Nancy
How to become a KCBS Barbeque Judge

How to become a KCBS Barbeque Judge

While living in phase 2 we have more time for fun hobbies and activities and one of our favorite activities is judging competitive BBQ. Yes, we are competitive BBQ judges and when people hear that they immediately ask, how did you become BBQ judges???

In today’s Phase 2 video we will talk about what’s it’s like to be a BBQ judge and how you can become one yourself.

Here is the link to the KCBS website where you can sign up to become a judge or a team:

Here are the charities we mentioned: Mission Zero Hundred Hours: Operation BBQ Relief:

Please leave us a comment. Are you a BBQ judge? Have you ever heard of competitive BBQ judging? Other suggestions we have missed? If you are a judge, do you have a favorite competition? We love to hear from you. Let us know what you think and if you have any questions.

Cheers to having great hobies in the second phase of life.  Make it a great day Friends!

Mike and Nancy

Spring Cleaning in the Second Phase of Life

Spring Cleaning in the Second Phase of Life

Spring Cleaning in the Second Phase of Life

There are many articles and lists out there telling you how to spring clean your home.  I don’t have the time or energy to spend several solid days doing a deep cleaning of my home.  However, I feel like my home needs to have a thorough cleaning each year.

I’m going to share with you my method of spring cleaning geared to those of us living in phase 2.  Perhaps you do something similar or have modifications to my method.  If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

To begin, write down, on paper or in a word document, all the areas of your home that need cleaning.

I’ll show you my list here, but yours will be reflect your home.  Don’t forget those outdoor spaces you may have such as a pool house or garden shed.  Here is my list.

  • Living Room
  • Entry
  • Office
  • Kitchen
  • Dining Room
  • Back Hall
  • Laundry
  • Master Bedroom
  • Master Bedroom Closet
  • Bathrooms
  • Kid’s Rooms
  • Basement Family Room
  • Craft Room
  • Furnace/Junk Room
  • Garage

Next assign a month to each of the spaces you have listed. 

Consider the time of year you are making your assignments.  For instance, I want to clean the garage when it is warm outside rather than in the cold winter.  I want to clean the furnace/junk room during the dreary months of winter as there are no windows in that room for me.  I don’t want to be in the furnace room during the summer and miss the sunshine.  I like cleaning the living room in January as it is when we are putting away Christmas decorations so that room is already out of sorts.  I also know we have travel plans during the summer, so I want to do areas during those months that are quicker and easier to deep clean.

In my list, I’ve grouped the kid’s rooms together.  Now that they are moved out of the house, and their rooms are only used as guest rooms, it doesn’t take long for me to give them a good cleaning.  I also have grouped bathrooms together as that seems easy and logical for me to do them at the same time.  Again, your list will look different than mine depending on your spaces.

I now have assigned a month to each of the spaces listed above.

  • Living Room – January
  • Entry – January
  • Office – October
  • Kitchen – May
  • Dining Room – January
  • Back Hall – June
  • Laundry – September
  • Master Bedroom – July
  • Master Bedroom Closet – July
  • Bathrooms – April
  • Kid’s Rooms – November
  • Basement Family Room – January
  • Craft Room – March
  • Furnace/Junk Room – February
  • Garage – August

Write the rooms on the corresponding month in your calendar or in your planner.

Once I have decided when each area will get its thorough cleaning, I then write the rooms on the corresponding month on my calendar. 

Did you notice I didn’t schedule any area for deep cleaning during the month of December?  That month is too busy for me both at work and with family life so I’m not going to add to it.

At the beginning of each month, I know what area of my home will be getting a good thorough cleaning.  Baseboards will be wiped down and windows in that room are washed.  I pull things out of cabinets to wipe them all down.

It is the time to declutter.

Friends, use this time to get rid of those items no longer needed or wanted.  As we move into the second phase of life, our interests and focus change.  Use this as a time to breathe new life into that space.  Although we may not be ready to downsize, it is something to keep in the back of our minds so what we declutter now will be less we have to do in the future.

If a space seems overwhelming, break it up into multiple areas.  Also consider breaking it up into more than one month. 

This month I have started working on our back hall.  There is a very large closet in our back hall which is just off the kitchen.  It serves as a pantry for me as well as holding all my cleaning supplies.  Earlier this week I purchased containers to fit on the shelves to hold various items and I am in the process of labeling the containers:  sauces, canned vegetables, and so on.  Containerizing small items is a great way to improve organization.  My plan is this will keep like items together and things won’t get pushed to the back where they are not easily seen.  Since this closet is my pantry, as I sort through my food, I will be checking expiration dates as well.    

Living in phase 2 sometimes means we need to do things a bit slower and that is just fine.  Do what you are capable of doing and celebrate each small step along the way.

Here’s to happy Living Phase 2.

Doctor’s Inn Bed and Breakfast, Oxford, Ohio

Doctor’s Inn Bed and Breakfast, Oxford, Ohio

Doctor’s Inn Bed and Breakfast, in West College Corner, IN is located at the Indiana/Ohio border.

Doctor's Inn Bed and Breakfast

We had a beautiful weekend stay at the historic Doctor’s Inn near Oxford, Ohio.  It happened we were scheduled to judge a steak competition as well as a barbeque competition in Liberty Indiana at the Smoke on the Water Festival and needed a place to stay.

Doctor's Inn Bed and Breakfast

Sometimes when you are in smaller communities, finding good lodging can be challenging.  The Doctor’s Inn met our needs with a delightful stay.

Jay and Charlotte, the owners, were kind and welcoming with tips on what to do and where to eat.  The inn was an absolutely charming old Victorian home.

Doctor's Inn Bed and Breakfast

The Doctor’s Inn was built in 1871 for a local physician.  You can see the original sign here.  Take a look at those office hours!  It is because the doctor made house calls in between his times at the office.

Upstair's Hallway at the Doctor's Inn

The Inn was remodeled in 2017.  Jay and Charlotte have owned it since 2021.  There are 5 guest rooms with private baths.  Having a private bath is a must for us.  Do note that four of the guest rooms are up a steep set of stairs.  There is one guest room on the main floor, so if stairs are a challenge, be sure to discuss this with Jay and Charlotte.

Nautical Room

Nautical Room at the Doctor's Inn

Nautical Room

We stayed upstairs in the Nautical room and it was a spacious room with queen sized bed and large bathroom with a shower.  Let us say, we’re not kidding when we tell you the sheets were the softest sheets we’d ever slept on.  The towels were nice and fluffy and the shower water was “hot”.  A must for us.  Nothing can be more disappointing than a lukewarm shower but this didn’t disappoint.

Dining Room at the Doctor's Inn

Morning Breakfast

Breakfast was delicious with several homemade goodies such as breakfast casserole, muffins and great coffee.  Fresh fruit and yogurt were also available.

Front Porch

Plenty of seating on the porch

Sunlight abounds on the front porch

Our favorite place to spend time was the enclosed front porch.  We would have our morning coffee here as well as play games of cribbage in the evening.

Living Room at the Doctor's Inn

The living room was stocked with reading material although we didn’t have the time to enjoy this room of the house.

We give this bed and breakfast a 10/10 and have plans to return here for next year’s barbeque competition.

If you are in the area and needing a place to stay, this is definitely it.

Be sure to visit the Doctor’s Inn website for pricing and more information.

Happy Living Phase 2 travels everyone.  Make it a great day!

Mike and Nancy


We had a “Grand” Easter

We had a “Grand” Easter

Grand Bunnies

Easter is one of our favorite holidays.  I personally enjoy the day as we go to church in the morning and then have an afternoon filled with family fun.  We had four generations at our house this Easter and it was a grand Easter spending it with the “grand-bunnies!”

Tim Emily and mom

We were only missing our oldest daughter who Lives down in Texas with her husband.  We did bring my mother to our house from the assisted living apartment where she resides.

four generations

I spent two days cooking and the food was wonderful and we feasted on baked ham, Texas potatoes, green beans, spinach-strawberry salad, deviled eggs, fruit salad, carrot croissants and bunny cupcakes and cookies.  Yum!

Bunny cupcake and bunny cookies

The little bunny butts are a frosted oreo cookie with white sprinkles.  Feet and tail are from Wilton.

Croissant Carrots

I made a video on how to make these fun croissant carrots which you can see here.


I hope you had a very Happy Easter Friends.

Make it a beautiful day!


Grand Bunnies Back Side

Sleep Apnea and Atrial Fibrillation

Sleep Apnea and Atrial Fibrillation

Heart Healthy Sleep

Friends, there is a direct correlation between between obstructive sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation.  In the video today I discuss the relationship between the two.

Please friends, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, don’t hesitate to contact your health care provider.  I don’t want you to go through atrial fibrillation and then need to have a cardioversion like I had.

This is part 2 of a 3 part series on sleep apnea.

In Part 1 I share my story of sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation.  

In Part 3 we cover CPAP tips and tricks.


Turning Hobbies into Income

Turning Hobbies into Income

Income from Cookie Decorating

While in the second phase of life, either pre-retirement or early retirement we are often re-evaluating our current career or life situation and determining at what we want our work-life balance to look like.

It is common during this phase to look at the entire picture of our lives.  If we are retired, we may feel at a loss as to what to do with our time.  If working, we may feel tied to our current career due to retirement benefits, insurance and more.  Although we may feel tied to this career, we may be finding that it is time for a change.  This could be due to many causes such as our changing family dynamics, changing health, changing work environment, stress, changes in the current demands in our lives, insufficient pay, workplace harassment and the list goes on.

Once we have made the decision that we want to make a change, but are unsure of what to do next, here is a good first place to consider.

Make a list of your hobbies and interests.

If you weren’t at work right now, what would you like to be doing?  Below is a list of ideas that might just spark a jumping off point leading to a second income or even a second career.

  • Writing: blogging, books, magazine, newspaper, or online articles
  • Graphic design
  • Woodworking, carpentry
  • Photography, video
  • Sports: coaching, refereeing
  • Music: teaching, playing
  • Crafts: selling, teaching
  • Website design
  • Social media: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and more
  • Buying and selling: antiques, Ebay etc.
  • Personal shopping for others
  • Baking and cooking
  • Gardening and landscaping
  • Reviewing: products, movies
  • Interior design: sewing furniture covers or sewing curtains and bedding
  • Pet care
  • Travel: writing reviews and articles, being a local guide to visitors coming into your city
  • Fitness: Instructor, coach
Machine embroidery for profit

What is on your list of things you enjoy doing?  Once you have made your list, then spend some time brainstorming ways your interests can generate an income.  You may just find that the interests you have could potentially generate a supplemental income or may even replace your current income and more!

This is part 1 of 2 in turning hobbies into income.  Next time, I will share with you how I’ve turned my hobbies into a significant income for our family.

Make it a great day friends,


Happenings Over the Weekend

Happenings Over the Weekend

Babysitting the Grand dogs

Weekends are such a blessing.  Mike continues to work full time on our business, Apple Spice.  I, however, have cut back to 4 days a week most weeks so about 30 hours a week for me.  So weekends give us a chance to unwind and recharge.

We spent this weekend with Mike working on the snow plow and me doing some menu planning and creating a shopping list for this next week.  We went to church and had dinner with our daughter Emily and her family.  Family brings us so much joy.  Emily and Matt have twin boys who are four months old.  One of the little guys has a cleft lip and palate.  He also has a third cleft between his esophagus and thorax which is why he requires an NG tube for his feedings at this time.

Feeding the grandbaby

Often times before heading into Apple Spice I will help Emily by doing this little guy’s morning feeding.  So while having dinner with them I had the opportunity to do his evening feeding.  He has had his initial surgery just over a week ago and the surgeon closed his lip and created a nostril.  In about seven weeks he will have a patch inserted into the cleft between his esophagus and thorax.  We are hopeful that at that time they will be able to remove the NG tube.

Since his surgery, we have been babysitting their dogs, so we say we are babysitting the grand dogs, and boy do the grand dogs like attention!

I hope your weekend was as recharging as ours was and that you have an amazing week!


Spring is Coming

Spring is Coming

What a happy day that although the snow continues to come down, we caught our first glimpse of spring with robins feasting on seeds from our red bud tree.  I know up north we will continue to have snow for a while with many dreary days but despite that, spring is on its way.  The first day of spring is in 31 days.

It is so important to keep our spirits lifted throughout winter and seeing God’s beauty in these tiny animals while giving thanks lightens our heart and minds.

Spring is a sign of new life.  It is a sign that God fulfills His promises and gives us hope to renew and begin again.  I pause to think of the areas in my life I need to renew and I’m filled with gratefulness for God’s mercies and understanding.  I am grateful that I’m given a chance to begin again.

May each of you see beauty in your corner of the world today and know that spring with its new beginnings is on its way.


Enjoying Wordle

Enjoying Wordle


Our children have introduced us to Wordle from the New York Times.  It is a web-based word game where players have six attempts to guess a five-letter word, with feedback given for each guess in the form of colored tiles indicating when letters match or occupy the correct position.  It reminds me of a game I played as a child called Mastermind.  

Mastermind Game

The nice thing about Wordle is there is only one game a day and the game can be played in under 10 minutes.  And I must say, it is fun!

Both Wordle and Mastermind are good brain games as they use logic and strategy to discover the solution.

Have a great day everyone!


Phases of Life Defined

Phases of Life Defined

The Phases of life

As we thought about our life, some major changes had taken place over a relatively short period of time.  Our children had grown and moved out which had brought along that accompanies being an empty nester.  We had moved away from our first careers and raising our kids to becoming owners of our new business.  Our parents needed more care as they were aging.  We started calling this time of our lives “Phase 2”.  Looking back, we saw all the changes we were experiencing and how much we had to learn.  That was the genesis of Living Phase 2.

But what is Phase 2?  We’ve defined it as that time in life after an early career and raising families, but before the late retirement years.   We measured each of life’s phases using 3 key characteristics, time, money, and health.

Phases of life

Thinking about each of these measures, let’s look at each of the phases of life to see why and how Phase 2 can be possibly the best time of our lives.

Phase 0

Phase 0 of life

Phase 0 is the start of life.  It’s our childhood.  It is days of playing, going to school, growing up, while living with a family support system.  Phase 0 continues up until we start “adulting”.  It’s that time of life where we have the freedom and minimal responsibility.    Looking at the chart in Phase 0, there’s plenty of time and great health, however, there is little “money” available in this phase.  While our family may have “money” it’s not generally our choice how that money is spent, and it is not an important component for a person in phase 0.

Phase 1

Phase 1 of Life

In Phase 1 it’s time to transition from childhood into adulthood.  It’s the time in life where many of us start our careers, marry, have children, and raise our families.  During this phase, our time is often limited.  We are early in our careers, not making much in the way of income yet.  We may have only 1 or 2 weeks of vacation and time off is spent around family activities.  Money earned goes towards necessities along with buying cars, houses, raising families, and hopefully investing in the future.  Although we have excellent health and vitality, our time is often not our own.

Phase 2

Phase 2 of life

Now here we are, phase 2 of life.  Our children are grown and most likely out of the house.  At this point we may start to feel some of the early effects of our age.  We wake up a little stiffer.  After a night out, it takes a bit more to get going in the morning.  We start grow hair in places where we didn’t want it and lose it where we do.  It is at this time of life when we are well into our career, making more money, and most likely have more in the way of vacation and free time.  We may even be wondering what to do with ourselves now that we aren’t spending all our time catering to our children and their activities that have been such a significant part of our life.  We also may be looking at a refreshed career, more travel, spending time with grandchildren, and caring for aging parents.  Our thoughts become more concerned about our health. We also look outside ourselves and consider how we can spend our time, talent and treasure to help others.  Finally, our retirement is on the horizon, and we are thinking about options and hopefully seeing the fruits of our retirement investments and wealth planning.

It’s around these pillars of Health, Wealth, Career, Leisure, Family, and Faith & Charity that we will have discussions in our Living Phase 2 community, including website and social media.  It is our hope to build a community of others in Phase 2 where we can share ideas and help each other have the best Phase 2 life possible.

Phase 3

Phase 3 of Life

And last, lets identify phase 3.  During the transition from phase 2 to 3 we find that we have even more time with being retired and having less career responsibilities.  Often our home, cars, and other debts are paid off.  We also have fewer family expenses and if our retirement plans are well executed this can lead to more disposable income.   However, it’s during this transition that our health and vitality decline.  That is the major transition indicator from phase 2 to phase 3.  We have plenty of time and money, but not the energy or health we once had.

Wrap up

We would like to note, we certainly understand that this is a very broad and generic view.  You will note that we don’t put ages on these phases.  They are keyed by the balance between health, wealth, and time.  Everyone’s experiences will differ and how we experience each of life’s phases will be unique.  How we see phase 2 is the time in life where you have the freedom while having a good balance of time, money and health.  For some people that may be in their 30’s and for others it may extend well into their senior years.  We hope you will enjoy our journey through phase 2 and look forward having you join us.  Together, we can help each other get the most out of life.

Nancy and Mike Jacobs

Welcome to Living Phase 2

Welcome to Living Phase 2

Hello and welcome to Living Phase 2.  We’re so glad you are here and look forward to sharing our journey as well as bringing you valuable information related to living in the second phase of life.  We’re Mike and Nancy Jacobs and the best way to learn more about us by going to our OUR STORY PAGE.

To begin with, let’s discuss what we consider the Phase 2 of life.  We look at Phase 2 as being the transition of focusing on an early career and children to a later career and empty nest.  Our focus now turns to retirement and financial security.  Family dynamics change with the addition of grandchildren as well as aging parents.   We have the ability to really enjoy life and contribute to society with time available to volunteer and do other charitable activities.  Change is happening which creates in us an instinct of truly appreciating each day and living life fully without mundaneness and minimizing mediocrity.

As we navigate this phase of life, gathering information related to this stage has become a passion for us.  It is our intent to be a resource and share with you news and information related to this stage of life as well as let you into our lives so you may see how we are Living Phase 2.

You may find our Introduction Video HERE.

Come join our journey as we live in an empty nest and a full life.