Staycations, Libations, and Netflix & Chill
Tax season is in full swing. Are you hanging in there?
If you could use a pick-me-up (and we have a sneaking suspicion you could at this point in the season), we bring you, “Your Guide to Living It up After Tax Season, Part II.”
Let’s talk staycations. Let’s talk Netflix. And let’s talk mouth-watering drink recipes.
Best Bets for a Staycation
Travel not in the cards this year for your post-tax season celebration? No problem! How about a staycation? No matter where you live, a staycation is a great way to get away from it all — right in your own backyard. Turn off the phone, turn off the computer, leave an away message on your email inbox, and give yourself full permission to skip out on typical household duties like laundry, cleaning, cooking, and work. Then all that’s left to do is enjoy yourself! Take a few of these tips to make the most out of your post-tax season staycation.
Try a local vacation rental. If the idea of avoiding all your everyday household duties sounds too difficult, find an AirBnB or VRBO for the night or the weekend! There are some real gems on this site, and it’ll help you feel like you’re really on vacation.
Go out on the town! Indulge in entertainment you don’t usually splurge on, whether that’s a play at a local theater you’ve been wanting to try out, a movie in IMAX, or a concert you’ve had your eye on. Plan your staycation around something special!
Try TripAdvisor. Have you ever looked up TripAdvisor or other travel review sites for your own city? Give it a try, and then choose from the top things you’ve never done — and do them! You might be surprised by what’s in your own neighborhood.
Explore new eats. Part of the fun of a vacation is trying new food and new restaurants. So why not try it with your own city? Have an adventure and perhaps find a new go-to restaurant by searching on Yelp to find some delicious new restaurants near you.
Get out in nature. There’s no better way to relax and detox from work overload than getting out in nature. You’ve been inside for far too long now after tax season! Even if it’s visiting a local park, find a local nature zone where you can relax, stroll, and soak in some sun.
New Drink Recipes
You’re obviously going to need some libations to celebrate your triumph over tax season. And don’t worry, all of these drinks can be made non-alcoholic too!
Moscow Mules are all the rage right now. Try this version and prepare to be blown away!
1 can ginger beer
1 cup pear juice
1 lime, juiced
Honey to taste
1 cinnamon stick
1 pear, cut into small slices, for garnish
4 oz. vodka (optional)
Mix all ingredients and shake well. Pour into your copper mug with crushed ice, garnish with a pear slice, and enjoy!
Swirled Chocolate Mudslide
Don’t even try to fight it. Your mouth is watering at the name alone, amirite?
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
2 shots Irish cream liqueur (substitute 1/4 cup milk or cream, if desired)
1 shot whipped cream vodka (optional)
1 cup ice
Blend ice cream, Irish cream, vodka, and ice in blender. Take a glass cup and swirl chocolate syrup along sides and bottom, then quickly pour in blended drink and garnish with chocolate shavings.
Fizzy Strawberry Daiquiri
Effervescent, happy, and bright: This drink is the epitome of a celebration.
2 cups frozen strawberries
1/8 cup lime juice
1/8 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup coconut rum (substitute coconut cream, if desired)
1/2 cup lemon-lime soda
Blend all ingredients and enjoy!
Blackberry Lemon Drop Martini
Elegant citrus goodness right here, with just the right balance of sweet berries.
1.5 shots vodka (substitute club soda, if desired)
1 shot orange liqueur (substitute orange juice, if desired)
1 teaspoon honey or to taste
Juice from one fresh-squeezed lemon
1/4 cup fresh blackberries
Twisted lemon peel for garnish
Sugar for dipping rim of glass
Dip glass rim in sugar, then combine and shake all liquid ingredients. Pour into glass, add fresh blackberries, and muddle berries with a spoon to release juices. Add lemon peel garnish
Raspberry Peach Sangria
Take care: The alcoholic version of this drink is boozy. But sometimes that’s just the ticket after a hard few months’ work!
1 bottle dry white wine (try Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay; substitute club soda, if desired)
3/4 cup peach vodka (substitute peach juice, if desired)
5 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate
1/4 cup sugar
1 bag frozen white peach slices
1 container fresh raspberries
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, mix well, and let the flavors combine for at least four hours. Then enjoy!
Shows You Should Definitely Binge Watch
Fantasizing about some Netflix-and-chill time? Need to identify your next binge-fest? These top-rated series are binge-worthy and acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. See something that catches your eye? Power through tax season, knowing you have some quality couch time ahead of you!
Lighthearted Romantic Comedy
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Adorable and witty, with many surprisingly touching moments, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is about a bright-eyed young woman who has been rescued from a 15-year stay in a bunker with a cult leader. Ready to embrace life again, Kimmy rents a dodgy apartment in New York and jumps back into modern life with both feet.
Jane the Virgin
When Jane’s routine trip to the OB gets accidentally swapped with a fertility appointment, Jane finds herself a virgin mother-to-be. And who is the father? Her boss, Rafael, of course! Jane’s life is suddenly very similar to the telenovelas that she, her mother, and grandmother adore. The series is filled with plot twists, romance, and humor — especially for anyone who has ever loved a soap opera.
This Is Us
So, spoiler alert: This show will make you cry. But in a cathartic, lovely way. The story follows three triplets and their family members through their triumphs, tragedies, and relationships. The acting is good, the story is compelling, and there’s plenty of humor to go around too.
It’s addictive, compelling, and full of twists and turns. The first season also earned its fair share of awards! Without giving too much away, the plot is about a policeman in a small town who finds that six people have inexplicably risen from the dead. Not as zombies, but in perfect health, mind you. The search for the truth begins, and it’s a ride you don’t want to miss.
You’ve heard about high-profile kidnappings and hostage situations. But what was really happening on the inside, and what were the kidnappers thinking? With this show, you get an inside look at the captors and the captives in cases of prison riots, pirate kidnappings, and ransoms. Each story is told through interviews with the actual victims and captors, and it’s both fascinating and very intense.
The Man in the High Castle
Ever wonder what the world would look like if Hitler and the Japanese had won WWII? That’s exactly what “The Man in the High Castle” explores. It’s riveting, intense, and well-thought-out. Not to mention just plain fascinating. The plot can be disturbing at times, but good-versus-evil is the main theme.
Quirky and Hilarious
If you loved “The Office,” you’re probably going to love this comedy. Produced by Justin Spitzer (who produced “The Office”), this workplace comedy explores the lives of employees at a big-box store. It’s quirky, it’s hilarious, and it’ll make you want to give your local Wal-Mart employees a hug.
Think “The Simpsons,” but with even more wit, more loveable characters, and hilariously planned plotlines. “Bob’s Burgers” is as delightful as it is funny, and follows the everyday lives of the Belcher family, who own a struggling burger establishment.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Based on the book series by Lemony Snicket, this series follows three children whose lives get turned upside down when their parents are killed in a fire. The children are placed in the care of their sketchy cousin, Count Olaf, who is bent on claiming their family’s fortune for himself. “Unfortunate Events” is certified binge-worthy and is filled with black humor, fantasy, and plenty of adventure.
Game of Thrones (the last season!)
By now you’ve probably gotten in on this fantasy series about warring medieval families, but if you haven’t, now’s the time. Chances are you’re missing the last and highly anticipated season during tax season. Luckily for you, you can now watch the whole thing in one long binge!