As we endure through 2020, each day brings new challenges. With the arrival of Covid-19, the world went into places we haven’t really seen in a hundred years since the Spanish Flu or the Bubonic Plague of the 14th century. World leaders have essentially shutdown the way people did life. Changes to every element of society, every major pillar of culture has been affected. Yes, every one, Business, Government, Entertainment, Media, Education, Family and Religion. These decisions that are being made are designed to reshape culture at a foundational level. Regardless of your opinion of Covid-19, one can not deny these impacts on our lives.
Conspiracy theories abound and time will tell if there is any validity to them. Odds are many of them will prove to be true that there was and is an agenda that is pushing this reshaping of our culture. I’m not here today to debate the many agendas that are simultaneously occurring, I might tackle those on another occasion. However, I would like to discuss something that is at the core of all these changes and that is social distancing. No matter what you think of it, there is an agenda behind it and that would be hard to deny.
Everywhere you turn we hear about it. It is the consistent theme across all metrics. It is clear that Covid-19 is virus that brings destruction on many levels. Jesus states in John 10:10 “the thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” The thief He is speaking of is none other than the Devil. It is very easy to associate the virus with powers of evil, but often we fail to recognize that the Devil is a purposeful creature. He has an agenda, it is to steal, kill and destroy. It isn’t just about the death that Covid-19 brings, it’s beyond that, it bigger that. You can probably take a moment and start thinking about what is Satan’s agenda. The impartation of fear and moving closer to his ultimate end time plans to wipe the followers of God off this planet are some to start.
This brings me back to social distancing If the enemy is wanting to implement this throughout the earth, it certainly can’t be a good thing. John 8:44 says “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out his desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, refusing to uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” So this statement is one that often comes up in my mind these days. It reminds me that Satan is always at conflict with God, if he has an agenda, we must conclude that it is not the same as God’s. That being said, the almighty can work all things together for our good.
Browsing the news feeds, it is easy to determine that addictions since the inception of social distancing are on the rise. There are line ups at liquor stores, cannabis use is up, opioid use is up and pornography is booming. The decreased availability of the mild forms of addictions like sports and entertainment has led to the harder uses for people to manage their mental health. Anxiety, stress, loneliness and fear are just a few. Social distancing is creating a pandemic of it’s own, and society is about to lose an entire generation that is losing control.
So if the agenda of the enemy is to steal, kill and destroy through social distancing than God must have a different agenda. God’s desire for his creation is that of love, and intimacy that is forged through a relationship with him and others. Intimacy in relationships that comes from physical touch, social environments and just simply being in the presence of another is being destroyed before our eyes. Government officials are even recommending masks between individuals in romantic endeavors. God is a relational God. He is an intimate God and desires for intimacy with people and likewise for them with others. Hebrews 10:25 “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” God’s design is for us to be together, to grow in unity, to grow intimately with one another. Technology is great, but it can’t reproduce the physical touch and presence of another human being in the way that we were created.
One thing I loved about God is that he always gave us tools to help in our journey. The greatest tool he gave us was prayer. Praying together builds intimacy in our relationships. I find it amazing the statistics on how few people pray on a regular basis individually, even less pray with their families and even less pray with other believers. What is God’s agenda to cultivate intimacy in this day and age, pray. If you don’t know how, don’t worry he tells us how and we can help guide you through that. Stay connected because we will be sharing more on this in the ongoing future.
This article today is not about joining in a revolution of anti-social distancing, it is about understanding that the Devil has an agenda that he is implementing in the earth and that agenda is a lie with a plan for our destruction. God also has a plan that we grow in our relationships and intimacy with one another. What plan are you going to be a partaker in? What plan will you fulfill in your relationships with your family, friends and community?
Got questions on prayer? Need someone to pray with? Somewhere to pray? Someone to teach you how? Send us a message. Matthew 21:13 “My house shall be called the house of prayer”. Let’s help each other make his house one of prayer as we combat our distancing with intimacy.
It’s Valentine’s Day, but I probably didn’t need to tell you that. We usually don’t view Valentine’s Day as anything overly special in our house, besides the opportunity for deals on chocolate the next day. That’s something to celebrate.
However, I thought it would be fun to share our love story in the world of bloggers.
Before I start, I want to give a shout out to my friend Sarah Quinlan. She is one of my favourite people and definitely one of my favourite artists, so when I saw that she was branching out and marketing some of her artistic talents, I wanted in. She did a Valentine’s promo where she offered a cartoon sketch for couples – so I immediately messaged her and ordered one of Brian and me. It turned out so perfect, right down to some of the little details that describe us to a T! Check out her Etsy store for some of her latest artwork for sale.
Ok, now for our story. (check out this post to catch a glimpse of our crazy life together)
It was Sunday, a beautiful August morning a long time ago…1998 to be exact. I thought it was going to be like any other Sunday – get up, get dressed, go to church, then home to nap. Instead, it was the day that changed my entire life.
After church, I tried to sneak out quickly without anyone noticing. As I exited the Sanctuary and turned down the hall, I felt like I could hear my name being called. I turned around to see Brian facing me. There was no way he was calling me, I thought. I had been going to the church for 10 years and he never indicated he even knew my name. I had only ever seen him from afar, so the idea of him stealing my heart never presented itself – until now.
Brian’s strong jaw and stunning eyes captivated my attention for what seemed like an eternity! All of a sudden, I realized that I wasn’t paying attention to his words, but only to the hook that he knowingly threw my way.
He asked me who I hung out with. His suave was uncanny. Me, on the other hand, knew nothing about how to be suave. I awkwardly told him I was a lonely homebody with no friends. Real smooth. He asked me if we could hang out sometime, to which I said yes. Somehow, he responded, he misplaced my number. Funny, I had never given him my number before. Sly, Brian. Real sly.
We exchanged numbers. My heart fluttered more than I had ever felt before. I was captivated, weak in the knees and so nervous. Thoughts of what was happening were rushing through my head at the speed of light. How could this be? How could this happen? Brian was interested in me? Hmmm…
I raced home and literally sat by the phone, willing it to ring. Sure enough, it did and Brian was on the line, asking me if I knew how to rollerblade and if I would like to go down to the Ganatchio Trail the next evening after he was finished work.
For the record, this would officially be our first date. Not to be confused with Brian’s idea of our first date which came 2.5 years later.
I barely slept on Sunday night, but just like clockwork, Monday morning rolled around without giving any sympathy to my sleepless night. On the bright side, the lack of sleep wasn’t unsolicited. Thoughts of change had crept into my mind and I spent almost the entirety of the night on my knees petitioning God to show me who would be my knight in shining armour.
The day couldn’t pass fast enough! However, though as slow as it may have been, I made it to the end of my work day. Sure enough, my phone rang shortly after five o’clock. There was no question in my mind as to who I would hear on the other end of the line.
After the call, I let out the biggest scream of excitement I had ever let escape my lips. Brian Ciaramitaro was taking me out on a date!
I wish I could end it here and say that the rest was history – and it was, but just not the fairytale kind. That would come 2.5 years later.
When Brian picked me up, my eyes met his and my heart took a leap inside my chest. The way the sun was hitting his striking eyes was enough to make me weak in the knees.
The next few hours flew by. The sun was starting to set and the picturesque view from the trail was simply breathtaking. As we skated back to his car, I couldn’t help but think about how idyllic my life would be with this amazing man.
We got in the car and I assumed this was the end of the date. When he turned the opposite way out of the parking lot, I couldn’t help but wonder where he was taking me.
“Want to split a strawberry sundae?” the words came off his lips like a sweet melody. Once again, I was completely mesmerized.
My awkward reply? “Uh, yeah. I mean, if that’s what you want.”
He pulled the car into a spot at Dairy Queen. I slid into a booth while Brian ordered a sundae. I watched him intently with a twinkle in my eye. This very well was the start of an amazing adventure.
The next year and a half was a rocky ‘on-again-off-again’ ‘interested-not interested’ ‘are we dating or not’ ‘Sheri’s madly in love with Brian, but Brian could take her or leave her’ kind of adventure. We parted ways for a full year, during which time it appeared that Brain was moving on. I didn’t think I could ever move on – he was all I wanted. Little did I know that he spent that time doing some praying and soul-searching, which brought him right back to me.
Cue Brian’s version of our first date.
No games, no nonsense. If we were going to date, it was going to be with the intent to marry each other. He gave me his knight in shining armour ring.
We were married 1 year and 3 weeks later.
The rest, my friends, is a dream come true.
It’s Sunday evening.
Nine months have passed since I’ve last posted.
I’m writing this post as I sit and enjoy a honey crueller donut from Tim Horton’s.
I drove to the store in my pyjamas with disheveled hair specifically to buy 6 donuts. I have no plans to share them with anyone. It almost sounds like a spontaneous, impulsive decision.
I thought it out. Planned it out. I weighed out the pros and cons and decided.
You see, 2019 was a difficult year for me. As a matter of fact, I’d say it was probably the hardest year I have ever endured. Strangely enough, it’s not due to any major event. It was the hardest simply because the pressures never let up. Ok, it doesn’t sound like the two thoughts are connected, but they are.
Let me back up here for a moment.
I’ve been refined sugar free since May 15, 2011. Most of that time was spent attempting to gain some self-control in my life. What I didn’t realize was that, although it was a decision that propelled me into a physically healthy place, it was also an extreme decision. When I reflect on my life, I realize that a vast majority of my decisions are extremes. I’ve always felt some sort of comfort in those extremes. Yet, over the last year, I have come to a place where I’m attempting to live my everyday life in balance – for the sake of my mental health.
Ok, back to 2019 where many people are talking about anxiety and mental health. Rightfully so, and it’s something that’s been weighing heavy on my heart.
As a pastor and leader within the church, people often think that you’re exempt from feeling the effects of the stresses of this world. That’s simply not true. The enemy knows our weakest points. He will work at nothing to knock you – and me out of the race. If he can’t get you with one thing, he’ll try the next – and so on, and so on. Philippians 3:14 says it plainly.
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Even though the pressures in my life have only increased, I press on to reach the end of the race. I know God’s grace is sufficient. Lately, I’ve found that grace with the simple act of implementing balance. That means sometimes I have to say ‘no’ to preaching because it’s not healthy to leave my kids to their own devices for four days straight. Sometimes that means I miss training at the gym so I can work on my business before my family gets home. Other times that means going to the mall in sweats and no makeup because my daughter wants to spend time with me. It also means filling my spiritual tank before I attempt to pour into someone else’s life.
I started blogging so that I could have something that was mine simply because I enjoyed it. It gave me time to recharge with a hobby instead of filling all of my free time with obligations. My first post was 2 years ago today. Since then I have dabbled with digital art, painting, writing a novel and singing. This season of balance is helping me realize that it’s ok if I enjoy makeup or working out, crushing virtual candies or potentially trying to eat 6 donuts. *update – I couldn’t do it.* These hobbies won’t keep me from fulfilling God’s purposes – unless I’m extreme with them.
Our fight is not with mere humans, but the evil forces that are at work under the surface. The enemy has been out to steal my purpose and I’m not ok with it. I mean, the enemy went straight for the jugular in the life of my purpose. One by one, I had my heart’s passions and desires shredded to pieces. I’ve had to revisit where I’m going in life, what gifts and talents I have, what I’m meant for. For now, I’m still in that process. However, I will not judge my value based on what others have projected on me – good or bad. I know my value comes from the Lord. Even amidst all the chaos, one thing I know for sure – I only ever want to be in the centre of God’s Will.
I am so beyond grateful for every encouraging word anyone has ever spoken to me over the course of the last year. In a season where many words and actions have cut me deeply, those sweet encouragements have been a treasure I’ve held on to.
If there’s one thing I can leave you with that has helped me in some dark moments, it’s an old hymn sung by Lauren Daigle, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.
*Disclaimer* I am not a doctor, please check with your doctor before you attempt to fast.
So, Lent is coming.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never paid much attention to it before (except when we used to sell chocolate covered almonds for a fundraiser every March/April – every person I tried selling them to responded with ‘I gave up sweets for Lent’).
Normally what we do is join in a fast for the month of January. However, this year, we decided to fasting during Lent.
But this brings me to my first question…
Do you ever feel like fasting is a little far-fetched for the average person to achieve?
Today I’m going to show you some practical things that you can do to make your fasting experience a little easier, so you can focus on praying and not on how you are dying of starvation.
I used to get so mad at myself for not being able to complete a fast.
…until I gave up sugar.
That’s when it hit me! Sugar makes it so much harder to fast!
2 weeks before a fast, I like to give up sugar, caffeine and any other food item I feel drawn towards – like breads.
#2 Have A Plan
One of things I’ve been learning over the years is that planning and preparation is key to so many areas in life (if not all of them!).
Things you want to plan for are:
- Type of fasting
- Spiritual focus
I put together this handy fasting guide to help get through this fast with focus and purpose. There are no dates on it so that you can use it at your own convenience.
#3 Bring Power To Your Prayer
Go into your fast with great expectations. Know what you want to seek God for. Seek His face with everything you have!
If you want to join me in this fast, leave me a comment and download the fasting guide.
Also, if you want to join in with the Bible plans on the Bible app, add me as a friend (search Sheri Ciaramitaro or VinGoshen).
It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a blog – I want to say it’s because I’ve been busy.
Yes, we will say it was a combo of the holidays, vacation, and busyness of trying to serve in ministry, film & edit videos, all while entering into the production phase of our new board game (check out SoapBox Games).
…but I’m back….
Today, it’s a video on my latest gel shot experience.
12 years ago I tore my meniscus (working out on the elliptical of all places). I ignored it until a few years later when we went on a cruise. Simply walking around NYC for a full day, I tore it even further.
I’ll spare you the details, but the back of my knee turned into a blue baseball.
Surgery was the answer. It was supposed to make it all better.
…it made it all worse.
I had a scuff on my knee cap and the doc decided to take all the shredded cartilage out of my knee.
Bone on bone. That’s what I was left with.
My options were slim, but I opted for gel injections. (Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried them before). I have a love-hate relationship with them, but they provide me with much-needed relief.
I don’t want this post to be too long, so I won’t go into the details…but until something new and innovative comes along (like a bio-knee or something), I’ll be injecting this beauty of synovial-fluid-like gel into my knee for the next 30 years.
Fall is my absolute favourite time of year.
The sun shines on the beautiful, colourful trees.
The leaves fall.
The nights are chilly.
Leather jackets become a staple.
Warm socks, hot cocoa and the promise of a shift in atmosphere.
It’s just pure beauty.
This year, fall has brought some changes that I didn’t anticipate. So it’s causing me to really focus on enjoying the little things in life. It’s not always easy to find the silver lining in the clouds, but someone once told me that if you cry for losing the sun, you’ll never get to see the beauty of the stars.
So, besides the obvious things in life, here are some of the things I’ve been enjoying this fall.
I’m not sure if this really counts, but I’m really grateful for the deals that we were able to get with Spirit and Carnival. Sometimes getting away can really help refocus your priorities, but money doesn’t always allow for it. If it wasn’t for the amazing deals we got, we wouldn’t have been able to go. Setting aside the stress of everyday life and going on an adventure with Brian was exactly what I needed. I love travel. Soon we will be heading on another adventure with the kids.
I have a love/hate relationship with my duvet. I love to be wrapped up in it, and I hate crawling out of its cocoon. I got this duvet at Costco a few years ago and it is one of the best ones I’ve ever had. I can wash it in my washing machine and there is no mess. It is so warm that sometimes I have to turn my fan on to keep my body temperature from soaring at night. Perfection for cozy fall Sundays.
Every August, I tend to reevaluate our schedule. Within that, I try to find great resources to help cultivate an atmosphere of worship within our family. Last year I stumbled upon a devotional (geared to homeschoolers) that I absolutely fell in love with. They are age-appropriate booklets with specific Bible reading, questions, prayers, memorization, etc that work together at all ages. So, their Bible reading is the same, but their questions/devotions are geared to their respective ages. It’s also something we can do together or they can do on their own. I loved it so much that I bought them again for this school year!
Microfiber Hair Towel
I’ve seen these things advertised so much, but my initial thought was that it was such a waste of money. Then Violet chose to spend some of her cash on one. One day she asked me if I wanted to try it. I did. Now, I owe her some money because I’ve completely confiscated this towel. It is extremely light and stays put. It cuts down on drying time – and when you have long locks like me, you don’t want to spend a boat-load of time drying your hair. There’s nothing I don’t like about this. It’s 100% worth buying.
Lastly, I’ve been listening to sermon podcasts on double speed and journaling them. For some reason, I find it absolutely invigorating! We all have seasons in our lives where we aren’t quite sure what the next step is going to be, but I find that listening to teachings really encourages me when I’m feeling uncertain.
Things don’t buy happiness, but sometimes things can make it a whole lot easier to get through seasons in life. There is nothing wrong with enjoying things in life, as long as it isn’t your driving force for happiness.
So, as we are diving into the busyness of Christmas, travel, company start-ups, etc. I’m choosing to keep a daily reminder of all the things I’m grateful for.
As a strong Christian woman, one of the things I love to do is study my Bible.
But I’m not into boring.
I can read a lot in a short period of time. I love speed reading.
However, I don’t like the idea of things going in one ear and out the other.
Creativity is key.
Especially if I’m going to remember things that I’m learning.
One of the ways I add creativity to my studies is Bible Mapping.
If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a creative visual of what you are learning. It can be hand-drawn or mastered digitally.
Here is the process I use when I do Bible Mapping.
The title I use is almost always the Scripture reference I’m picking apart. There’s nothing overly complicated with this, but I like to doodle it in a creative way.
If you’re going to study a certain passage of Scripture, you might want to know what it says. I usually write my favourite version big in the middle (ish) of the page. I like to leave enough space around each word for further study.
Re-write Multiple Versions
I’m a KJV girl, through and through. However, there are sometimes that it’s understood just a little easier with multiple versions of the Bible. I like to write a good 3 or 4 versions along the side of my page.
This is where the fun begins. I look up all the words in the concordance and I start writing down my findings. I like to include the concordance reference, plus the meaning. That way, if I have any questions when I’m re-reading it in the future, I can easily pull up the word in the Greek/Hebrew.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to look up what those words mean in the dictionary. My favourite dictionary is Websters 1828 Dictionary. Noah Webster was a Christian and the definitions often have Scripture references contained within them.
At this point, I like to jot down what I feel the general overall key points are within the passage I’m studying. There are usually themes that pop out when we begin to dive a bit deeper than the surface level of the Scriptures.
Once I’ve finished all of that, I like to re-write the Scripture with a personal touch. I like to include tidbits from the concordance and dictionary that stood out to me. This really makes the Scriptures step out off the page and hit me on a personal level where it’s all about me and God.
That’s a wrap. When I do these, it usually takes me a good chunk of time because I tear every part of the Scripture apart.
I tried dieting.
I’ll stop right here and take a moment of silence for anyone who has dieted at any point in their life.
All of my life I have been thin. I mean, to the point where I had people pull Brian aside and express their concern for my health. Lots of people thought I had anorexia, and some even offered to take me to the hospital.
I wasn’t anorexic.
I just had a fast metabolism and I never over ate because I didn’t love food.
Then, when I got pregnant with Violet, I actually tasted variations in food – and I loved it (and sometimes craved it)!
After that point, I enjoyed food, but never to the point of over-indulging.
Let’s fast-forward a bit…
2016 began my intense workout journey and continued until February 2018. In February, I was finding it hard to do any extra anythings because we had been through some pretty tough events over the last few years. I feel like I kind of came to my breaking point and the end of it wasn’t even in sight. The gym almost became too exhausting for me to endure mentally, yet I kept eating like I was working out 2 hours/day, 6 days/week.
That brings me to my heaviest weight in life.
I decided to get back to the gym because let’s face it, I can’t control when life is going to throw curveballs my way.
I forgot how much I love the exhaustion that comes from working out and the burn from pushing your limits. It’s exhilarating!
…but then we booked a last-minute vacation.
This summer I lived in my winter stretchy clothes because I keep the temp in my house around 68 degrees. So, when I went to try on my summer clothes, they didn’t fit.
Now, you probably know by now how much I hate wasting money, so I figured the next best thing would be to extreme diet for 2 weeks.
I hate dieting.
I cut out all sugars, dairy, bread, sweeteners, and junk food. Then I limited my caffeine to 1 cup per day. Plus, I restricted my calories and set time frames to eat (9am-5pm) – although I was a bit lax on the time restrictions.
Anyway, I have never wanted food so bad! I mean, I want food that I don’t actually like! My body is revolting and I feel like I’m dying.
It shouldn’t have to be this way.
So here it is. My revelation of the day.
Instead, just eat a healthy diet.
But not the kind that makes you want to die.
Do something that brings you joy.
For me, that’s lifting weights.
So, even though this was my first time ever dieting, it will most certainly be the last.
Don’t give up.
Even slow progress is momentum in the right direction.
To all those who have ever struggled with dieting or body image, you are worth so much more than the labels that you’ve picked up over the years. Don’t let other people’s highlight reels discourage you from being the best you that you can be. God created you special and beautiful and uniquely different from everybody else.
For a reason.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner for us Canadians and although I’ll be in the Caribbean, I’m dreaming about all the fixings.
I love everything about fall. Cool weather. Sweaters. Cute boots. Windows open. Fresh air. Thanksgiving.
When I was young, my mom always hosted family holiday dinners at our house for any family that was in town. I had so much fun helping her bake and prepare for our honoured guests.
For the last few years, I’ve had the honour of hosting dinners at our house. My daughter Violet now loves helping me plan and prep for everyone.
Now, one thing I haven’t mentioned is that our family has grown over the years…which is to be expected. So our prep is usually for 25-30 people.
I need to be super organized for my dinners, otherwise it would be extremely stressful and overwhelming. If it wasn’t for my stellar prepping skills, I would never have survived the time when we had church in the morning, lunch at Brian’s parents and then I was hosting dinner for my side of the family – all in the same day! I walked in the door only about 20 minutes before guests started arriving.
So, with that, I figured I’d share my plan & timeline on how to survive hosting a holiday dinner.
First things first, I usually have a note on my phone that I can copy and paste (then edit). However, since Easter (the last dinner I planned), I have stumbled upon Trello. I now use Trello to organize every aspect of my life – and it’s AHHH-mazing!!
Ok, let’s dive right in!
1 Month Before
Set the Date & Time – Simple, but without it, you have nothing.
Guest List – Separate your list into kids & adults, then add up the total.
Notify/Invite Guests – Seriously. Don’t forget to let them know.
Menu Plan – List everything you want on the menu.
Seating Plan – Mostly just make sure you will have enough seating.
Dishes – Stocking 30 place settings might be overkill; decide if you have enough dishes or if you need to use disposable dishes.
If you’re as particular as I am, you may want to do the following:
Diffuser/Candles – Atmosphere is a big deal to me. What scent do you want people to enjoy? I usually throw on something fall related.
Music Playlist – If I don’t pre-pick my music, Brian will most certainly turn on 80’s classics or Amy Grant. Spotify to the rescue!
Playroom/Activities – I don’t like leaving things to chance, which means that I like to give the kids something organized to do (like a scavenger hunt or a video filming challenge). This is how we minimize arguments, broken items and disasters in the basement.
Coat Rack – My foyer is tiny and closet space is limited in our house, which means I need to have a dedicated area for all the shoes, coats & purses. It is usually one of the bedrooms.
2 Weeks Before
Finalize Meal Plan – This is the point where I decide if I’m going to be superwoman and cook/bake everything myself. I love doing this, but it’s not always feasible. If needed, I will accept offers from my guests to bring certain dishes. Just make sure to write down who is bringing what, otherwise you may end up with 5 salads and no buns.
Finalize Guest List – I guess this changes from day-to-day, but I like to get a general idea if everyone is coming or not. I like leftovers, but if I don’t need a 25 lb turkey, I won’t buy one.
Grocery List – Go through your pantry and cupboards to see what you have and what you need. I usually add to my grocery list for a few days before I start shopping.
1 Week Before
Clean House – Please don’t judge me, but I use this time to not only clean my living spaces, but also all the bedrooms, closets, drawers, etc. I feel like I need a completely clean slate to start with.
Grocery Shopping – My list is usually separated into a few different sections according to the best deals – Costco, Superstore, Wal-Mart, etc. Once I know what I’m getting where, I go get ’em.
3 Days Before
Light Housecleaning – The deep cleaning might be done, but the second you turn your back, a clean spot can turn into the perfect spot to paint nails – if you know what I’m talking about.
Baking – This is absolutely my favourite part! The smell of pumpkin pie, apple pie, cheesecake, cookies, cupcakes, etc. just gets me every time! And yes, some of my baking is just typical, full-of-sugar goodies and some are specially made sugar-free for my enjoyment.
2 Days Before
Meat Prep – Thawing large cuts of meat such as a whole turkey or ham takes time and patience. Pull it out of the freezer and drop it in a sink filled with cool water (ok, maybe don’t drop it). This keeps bacteria from multiplying on the meat.
Light Housecleaning – But seriously, people need to get ready, eat, function on a daily basis, so keeping on top of tidying up is essential.
1 Day Before
Light Housecleaning – Ok, I think I’ve made my point on this.
Stuffing – If I’m stuffing the turkey – which I always do – I like to make the stuffing the day before and put it in the fridge so my hands don’t burn when I’m stuffing the turkey.
Table Setting – Since we tend to have a lot of guests, I usually rearrange my living room and set up a long table. We can’t all fit around one table, so doing this the day before helps me see how many seats we have.
The Day Of
Cook – The alarm goes off early in the morning, I throw on my apron and get to work in the kitchen. I stuff the turkey, season it and put it in the oven. I arrange the ham in the crock pot and set it. Peel the potatoes, cut ’em up and throw them into the pot with water on the stove – ready to be turned on later in the day. Lastly, I will throw on some homemade bread in the bread maker.
Relax – There’s no need to be stressed when it comes to hosting a dinner. Once everything is prepped and ready, take some time to get yourself together.
There you have it! Take the time to enjoy every moment of the day.
Do you find it stressful planning/hosting a holiday dinner? I’d love to know your secrets to staying stress-free.