Summer is here! Can you believe it? It seems like April and May just flew right on by. There has been a flurry of activity in my life over the last several weeks and I’m sure most of you feel the same way. I have to say though…. I’ve really missed our time together. It’s always so evident in my life when I need some renewal and restoration of my body, mind and spirit and that time has come. So, this week, I’ve been washing up, cooking, running errands and packing for a family beach vacation next week. I plan to not only soak up the sun next week, but soak up His word and Holy Spirit.
Ladies, let me tell y’all. I hate packing. I don’t know if my OCD makes me afraid that I’m going to forget something, but it stresses me out so much. Over the past few years, I’ve learned how to make trip planning and packing a little easier and I wanted to share. We typically go to the beach once a year, so I actually have a file on my computer (I know, I’m a nerd) that says “Beach Packing List.” This list includes things like swimsuits, flipflops, camera, sunscreen, beach chairs and umbrellas, etc.” I usually pull my list out a week in advance and start gathering things on my list and putting them in a pile. I also try to wash up all the dirty clothes and as I pull clothes from the dryer, I’ll go ahead and plan what clothes I need to pack based mainly on my stack of clean clothes. The saved list has really come in handy and I’ve been able to use it for other trips as well and just scratch off items that aren’t relevant.
Next, let’s talk meals at the beach. You might be a family that loves to eat out every single night while on vacation and that’s perfectly fine. However, for those of you who are trying to stretch a dollar but don’t want to spend your whole vacation cooking, you can prepare some meals ahead of time to take with us in the cooler. Here are a few options that I rely on:
Honey Barbecue Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Before you go, throw 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker. In a bowl, combine an 18 oz. bottle of honey barbecue sauce, 1/2 cup of Italian dressing, 2 T worcestershire add 1/4 cup brown sugar and pour on top of your chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6. You can make this yummy goodness ahead of time, freeze and take to the beach with you to reheat and serve on warm toasted buns with a side of potato salad, chips or coleslaw. Your family will think you are a superstar, I promise!
Easy Chicken Fajitas
Debone a rotisserie chicken into pieces and place in a gallon size freezer bag. Add a bag of fajita peppers/vegetables to the bag along with a couple of generous Tablespoons or a packet of fajita seasoning and toss well. Freeze chicken and vegetables until it’s time to pack in your cooler. Thaw out your bag the day you want to use it. At meal time, saute everything in the skillet in olive oil until warm and serve on warm tortillas with sides of cheese, salsa, lettuce, sour cream and whatever else your family enjoys. Voila! Another quick and easy meal that won’t take but minutes to prepare.
I’ve learned that almost everything in life is made simpler with proper planning. Some people may think that it takes more time to plan, but I think it saves you time and headache in the end. I pray that as we embark on the season of summer that you will find time for rest and restoration and that a little preparation will make your summer more enjoyable.
How do you plan ahead? I’d love to hear about your plans for the summer.
Love and Blessings,