1 : a respite or a time of respite from something : intermission
2 a : a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended b : a period of exemption from work granted to an employee
3 : a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation <had a restful vacation at the beach>
4 : an act or an instance of vacating
Who knew vacation had such a vast definition. There was a time when I only thought of a vacation as a big trip to Disneyland or Hawaii. Now I see vacation opportunities all around me. I realize that I do not need to go far, or leave for several weeks to actually take a vacation from my everyday life.
As the definition states, a vacation can be a period of time spent away from home for travel or recreation, or simply a time of respite from everyday life.
This definition of vacation opened my mind to a new way of thinking about what a vacation truly is.
I actually have the time to take little vacations throughout the year, which is a fairly new thought for me.
By making a conscious choice of taking a day, three days, week or even a few simple hours, I can create a mini-vacation from my normal routine!
WOW, what a cool concept!
I can make it feel even more like a vacation from my normal life, if I plan out activities to do and places to go ahead of time.
Cutting back on the amount of time and stress that it takes to head out the door is a huge key to enjoying my vacation, no matter how big or small that vacation might be!
This week my mini vacation is a picnic!
Whether you plan a picnic for your family or group of friends a picnic is an easy way to slip away from your reality for a few hours. A simple respite in the middle of a busy week, a picnic takes me out of my home and into the fresh air and sunshine where I get to spend a few hours playing with and enjoying the people I love most in this world.
Life doesn’t get much better than this!
Making a picnic doable at a moments notice is simple to do with a little planning and preparation.
I have a picnic kit ready to go, so that I can take a quick vacation when the sunshine calls us to come out and take a break from life.
Getting out the door quickly and without too much effort is key to enjoying a vacation no matter how big or small.
Let me show you what I include in my picnic kit.
In my pantry I have a bin that is specifically for food that I use for picnics. Now, I do not put perishable food items in here of course, but I do include a couple of bags of chips, single containers of apple sauce and fruit cups, an unopened jar of peanut butter and jelly, some crackers, and anything else that I can think of that we might want to eat at a picnic. After a picnic, I simply take stock of what we need from the grocery store to refill our picnic bin and restock it when I am putting away all of the bags of groceries.
Once again the bin is ready for me to quickly pick up and go.
The second part of my picnic kit is the picnic basket!
I picked up this colorful basket at Target in their seasonal section, if you do not own a picnic basket, or simply need to replace an old one this is the perfect time to pick one up.
This basket holds items like an outdoor table cloth, stacking bowls with lids, paper plates, plastic cups, and a custom made caddy to hold napkins, utensils, and condiments.
The basket sits on a shelf stocked with these items until I am ready to pack our meal for our picnic.
Again the key here is having everything in one place ready to go.
Simple food is important for a picnic. There are times when grabbing a loaf of bread , my picnic bin and basket is all I have time for and we can head out the door knowing that everything I need is in these two containers. Then, there are picnics that are planned for a specific day, and I can make a salad, fried chicken, or bring the makings for cooking kabobs on the grill. The great part of any of these options is that they are simple to pull off, because the containers for my salads, fried chicken and kabobs are easy to get to, they are in my picnic basket. They can then be filled with yummy food and packed back into my picnic basket and we are ready to walk out the door.
I always keep a couple of picnic blankets in the back of my van, so no matter where we go, if there are no picnic tables we have a place to enjoy our picnic.
When I get home from our picnic, I place opened condiments in a plastic container labeled picnic condiments and place it in the refrigerator.
Items that need to be washed or restocked in the picnic basket or picnic bin are taken care of, so that our next picnic is easy to pull off!
These super simple tips can make the picnic a perfect little vacation.
Traveling far from home can be extremely fun, but there is no reason to wait on a big vacation to travel away from your home, and take a break from your everyday routine.
With a little planning and preparation you can be ready for a quick vacation at any moment!
This is what Saving Your Sanity: Summer Travel is all about, planning for both the big adventures and the quick simple getaways as well.
They are all good and they all count!
Leave a comment about your favorite picnic location by May 27th at 12:00pm and you will be entered in a drawing to win a custom caddy (created by me) to add to your picnic kit!
Be sure to include the city and state.
People who are traveling this summer may want to check out your favorite picnic spot, while on their vacation!
ABOUT JEN: Jen Mohler loves simple things like homemade ice cream, freshly squeezed lemonade, and anything hand crafted. She has worked in the scrapbooking industry for seven years as a consultant, manufacturer, designer, and teacher.
Four years ago life and scrapbooking changed for Jen as her little family of four grew. This unexpected, beautiful bonus baby, caused a major shift in Jen’s perspective as an artist and scrapbooking enthusiast. Simplifying life became a major focus. Making time to be creative became a major focus. Scrapbooking meaningful stories became a major focus. Not losing her sanity became a major focus. Jen shares her thoughts on these topics of her life and art on her blog Dream Big.
Jen is currently teaching a Saving Your Sanity series of workshops at Big Picture Scrapbooking. If you would like to ask Jen a question about this series, or simply say hello, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you enjoyed Jen’s nature lover summer hijacking tip you can get more tips, techniques and ideas like these this June in her Saving Your Sanity: Summer Travel workshop.
StacyJulian.com readers can enjoy $5.00 off the Saving Your Sanity: Summer Travel workshop at BigPictureScrapbooking.com!
At checkout use the code: summertravel to redeem your discount.
*Disclaimer: This coupon only applies to the Saving Your Sanity: Summer Travel workshop; coupon does not apply towards other Self-Paced Projects, Workshops or Gift Certificates. Good for one time use, per student. Expires June 23rd, 2010 at 10pm PST. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Coupon must be entered in the “Promo Code” box during checkout and press “apply” button; discount will be applied immediately. Not applicable towards previous purchases. Other terms and restrictions may apply.