One of my favorite weekends is right around the corner and it’s nearly impossible to believe that we are about to celebrate our 6th annual Becoming Conference and we’ve posted our 2016 agenda. Our speaker line up is fabulous.
This weekend is truly like no other. Our desire is that all women leave encouraged, inspired and refreshed to become more intentional in all aspect of life. It’s a one stop weekend for all things heart and home.
This year we are at a new location – Lake Junalaska Conference and retreat center and the setting is just breathtaking.
This is the photo I took with my cell phone directly from the building where our sessions will be taking place.
Take a sneak peek at the weekend, just to see for yourself.
With topics ranging from DIY, home decor, hand lettering, meal planning/freezer cooking, saving money, finances, natural living, organization, fashion, mothering and family, we touch on nearly everything.
Trust me on this! I guarantee, you will be so glad you carved out time for this ultimate girls’ getaway. Don’t let the word “conference” scare you away. It’s just plain fun!
With summer time in NC, we are in full grilling mode, as I am sure many of you are as well. Grilling is such an amazing way to enjoy the beautiful weather, create those summer memories through infusing our yard with smells and eating healthy at the same time. (I grilled a lot during my no carb, no sugar time.)
If you’ve been a reader here for any amount of time, you know how important it is for me to have easy ways to get dinner on the table and one of my fast 5 favorites (the rest found here) is to grill or bake chicken in bulk. (Really grill anything in bulk to have some for later.)
When we grill out, I always grill up at least ten pounds at a time. Today I checked out the price of 1/2 pound of prepackaged grilled chicken – $5.45. That’s crazy! You can make two pounds of your own grilled chicken for the same price. If you bake chicken or throw it in the crock pot, always make more chicken that you will eat, so that you have extras. Once cooled, then slice, shred and chop into individual meal size freezer bags for quick additions to salads, soups, sandwiches and casseroles all week long. Making up these meal packets is such a great time saver.
I hear so many people say that they aren’t the best on the grill. With a few simple tricks, we can all master amazing meals on here. A secret to great cooking is to know when to introduce acids to a recipe. Acid, such as infusing with fresh citrus options or vinegar, accentuates all other flavors included in the dish. White or red whine, sherry, balsamic or cider vinegars are all great choices. They are a long lasting shelf staple so have different variations available.
Marinate your meat.
Marinating is a great way to add flavor and save money by tenderizing tougher, cheaper cuts of meat, as well as chicken. A well-prepared marinade can help an amateur on the grill prepare food that tastes like it was prepared by an experienced grill master!
To save time, as soon as you come home from the store, take an extra few minutes and divide them into your favorite marinades to cook with in a few days or stick right in freezer.
Select your marinade elements.
I wrote this post over at (in)courage before the most devastating week we’ve had in Orlando, yet what I share rings even more true now. With the online parental shaming I see in regards to both the gorilla and alligator tragedies, along with the senseless death of 50 innocent victims, compassion should ring forth, not the hate and judgment I see spewed. When I think of that sandy beach at Disney, I don’t care what any mom says, it could have been you. It could have been me. Compassion. Grace. Heartbreak.
And now onto words I penned in May.
With newspapers scattered throughout the adult Sunday school room, my husband asked attendees to give their gut reactions to the new headlines placed before them. Avoiding any political discussions or expected church type responses, he encouraged us to share emotions from the heart when we think through local, national, or world news.
“Discouraged, disillusioned, heartbroken, hopeless, frustrated, angry, numb, hypocritical, sorrowful, lack of critical thinking skills, hopeful for the second coming, out of control” and the responses continued.
What could have been a potentially explosive discussion became a time of pointing our feelings towards the only truth: God’s unchanging, infallible, Word of God — the only plumb-line that can help make sense of these days.
Regardless of where we stand politically or on issues of global importance, it’s a time where many of us have deep-seated feelings that are so far out of our ability to control or change what is happening.
It only takes a few minutes on Facebook to find people spewing venom and reactions based on emotion, often without first taking time to check facts or sources. I can’t help but imagine that Satan celebrates each time believers act out, especially against each other. That conflict among believers rips apart the body of Christ. [Read More…]