The date marking the end of 2023 was remarkable: 1-2-3,1-2-3, just like a waltz. And the beginning of 2024, being on a Monday, was perfect for beginning those New Year’s resolutions. Last year I posted that I was not doing resolutions; I was doing Goals. Here is it one year later and my 2024 Goals are basically the same. I will claim one victory in 2023 and it was a big one!
Cook at home more often. I have done this in spurts. Maybe I can claim a half a victory. In 2024, I hope to do better but, as we all know, it is so easy to go out to eat. My husband and I enjoy a good home-cooked meal, however, we hate the hourlong prep time when we are done eating in 10 minutes. Just saying. So that this 2024 goal gets off to a good start, as I am typing out this blog outline, Chicken in Foil is in the oven.
Chicken in Foil was a crowd pleaser when we had all 5 kids living with us. I would make individualized packets for each of them and write their initials on the outside. I think each child believed that the packet contained his or her favorites and therefore made each of them feel special. Little did they know that they were all the same and contained my favorite combinations. And as a bonus, it was effortless for me--talk about an easy supper.
Chicken Dinner in Foil
1 piece chicken breast
salt and pepper
2 T chicken gravy or barbeque sauce
½ c frozen vegetables
¾ c frozen potatoes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a piece of large aluminum foil, place chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour on barbeque sauce or gravy. Place frozen vegetables and potatoes on top. Seal packet, using double folds, place on baking sheet. Bake 1 hour or until chicken is tender.
Note: I use chicken gravy from a jar. I have not tried barbeque sauce. Use any vegetable or potato you think you would like. This recipe works well on a grill or with coals on an open campfire in the backyard or while camping. Cleanup is nice and easy. Be sure to make a second one to take to work for lunch the next day.
2. Finish 2 cross stitch projects. I did this! First, in July, I finished the Dimensions (70-08948) Christmas Beach Chairs and then just before Halloween, I completed my Thanksgiving Gobblers project. The beach chair project has not been framed but I did make the cutest pillow (with matching turkey fabric from Joann Fabrics) to gift to our daughter that hosted Thanksgiving 2023. Hopefully the other kids do not see this as a regular occurrence. I am currently working on two Christmas projects. We will see if I switch to something not so Christmas-y, but for now I am enjoying my choices.
3. Take a “real” vacation. Last year my husband and I visited family. Visiting family is not a vacation, it is a trip. But this year, I can tentatively say that I can check this one off my list! My husband and I enjoy our cruises, even though our last one had its ups and downs. I think it was the timing. This cruise will depart from Miami, take us through the Panama Canal, cruise up the west coast of Central America and Mexico, ending up in the port of Los Angeles. We are excited for this one! This will be our first experience with Celebrity Cruises. In the past, we have only traveled on Royal Caribbean.
4. Use our outside toys more often. While we did not put a kayak in the water, once my ankle healed, we did take the boat out more often. We enjoyed taking our out-of-town guests on dolphin excursions. And, I am proud to report that we had some great success with getting the dolphins to chase the boat. The biggest thrill was having multiple dolphins playing in the wake. Truthfully though, seeing any dolphin is thrilling to me. All that being said, my husband and I do plan to use our other outdoor toys more this year. I have heard of some coves that may have some manatees!
5. Make a habit of exercising or working out. Like most people, this is still a WIP. I am starting off this year with the Goal of getting my 10,000 steps each day. That seems like a good goal for me. Today, as I type this outline, is January 3 and I am already at 7,656 steps so I will get to my 10,000. Yesterday, I had 10,074! New Year’s Day is a little known “Universal Exercise Grace Day” that is a freebie! So, Go Me!!!
The world’s year of 2023 ended remarkably. However, our little world changed between Christmas and New Years. Sweet, sweet Bella Marie passed over the Rainbow Bridge to be with friends, old and new. Times are better for our little girl now, but the three of us are still adjusting to our loss. Do not “Rest in peace,” Bella. Run and enjoy your newfound health and friends! When looking for a new pet, please think first about rescuing or adopting from a shelter versus purchasing from a breeder.