The Organized Life, Preparing for the 4th

With the 4th of July one week away, I’m ramping up my preparations to make it a smooth sailing holiday!

I think my favorite part of entertaining is the planning…I love the process of getting organized ahead of time…it eliminates last minute stress…If you can take some time now, you will be rewarded in spades, or should I say fireworks, later! ๐ŸŽ‰

One of the first things I do is update the buffet area on the kitchen island,  a display of plates, flatware and serving pieces, ready for the next meal or snack

The first part of the island is dedicated to the No Wake Zone Snack Station

The Strawberry Season Tray holds jars of crackers, nuts and cookies, along with kid friendly plastic bowls and small ceramic bowls to fill up and go

I highly recommend using jars to hold all kinds of foodstuffs, even in our humid climate the jars keep things fresh for weeks

The boat holds paper plates and melamine lunch or snack plates, and an assortment of flatware sits nearby

At the other end of the island buffet is a stack of dinner plates

The cake dome sits ready to be filled with cookies, pastries or dessert

A stack of platters serves double duty as decoration

plus they are right there, ready for use

The kitchen island is a generous 4′ x 8′ so there is still plenty of room for food prep and setting out the prepared food for serving

A big part of preparation is menu planning

I like to post a print out for everyone to see and for my own reference

Buy the staples and non perishables way ahead of time to make final shopping easier

Here’s a brief description of my recipe organization process, please skip if it doesn’t interest you!

Rhonda recently asked me to explain more about my process for creating the monthly bucket list of recipes.  We all have volumes of recipes we’ve clipped, pinned or saved to try.  I use Pinterest to keep mine organized, and it’s a constant work in progress.  While I’m cooking things from the current bucket list, I am also building next month’s list as I come across ideas.  I have seasonal recipe boards and a general recipe board divided into sections.  I refer to these boards as I work on the bucket list.  My reference boards are secret, but the Monthly Paint Bucket has photos and links for the recipes I want to make during the current month and also things I’m thinking about for the upcoming months

The menu ideas on the list above are a combination of things on the Pinterest Board, 4th of July Week, the July Bucket List, posting Sunday but you can take a sneak peek here, and favorite things from the archives

With family coming to the coast for an extended stay {one family coming for 10 days and the other for 5} we will do a lot of cooking and eating, grilling and chilling!  We will try some new recipes and make some old favorites like the ones below

Potato Chip Fried Pickles

Spinach and Watermelon Summer Salad

Pineapple Teriyaki BBQ Chicken & Bacon Kebabs

ย Fast & Fabulous Ranch Hashbrown Potato Casserole

Roasted Summer Vegetable Pasta Pesto Salad

Fruit Pastries with Almond Cream

Lucky for me I have a grill master who makes this all possible, HHjr does most of the actual cooking, I’m just the sous chef and grocery shopper

I occasionally use Shipt and Instacart during busy times, if you’ve never had your groceries brought to your door, it’s a life changer!


Here’s the important part…

If we run out of time, energy or desire, nothing beats the simple things like roasted vegetables, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, watermelon… Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese, even pizza delivery!

No pressure!!

Cooking and creating in the kitchen is a joy for me, but only if I’m in the mood and feeling energetic! There are plenty of days when I don’t want to step foot in the kitchen or go to any trouble, so be easy on yourself…

Make sure you have a Plan B to fall back on, and keep it simple!

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Happy Planning! ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Meal Plan Monday  Dishing it & Digging it,   Between Naps on the Porch,

Merry Monday   Make it Pretty Monday    Celebrate and Decorate,

Tasty Tuesday   Oh My Heartsie Girl  Full Plate Thursday

Thursday Favorite Things  Creatively Crafty   Home Matters 

Weekend Potluck   Sweet Inspirations   Happiness is Homemade

30 Responses to “The Organized Life, Preparing for the 4th”
  1. Mary says:

    Love your ‘No Wake Snack Station’ area and buffet Jenna! It looks like you’re all set for the 4th, family and food! Enjoy your week at the coast! ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ›ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿ›ฅ๏ธ๐ŸŒŠโ˜€๏ธ

  2. Ha, ha, no crabby ‘tudes at the beach-love it:@)

  3. I have to get my act together for the fourth. You’re an inspiration!

  4. Wow, I want to come eat at your house! Great to have the kitchen prepped and ready, and it looks so festive.

  5. thefrenchhutch says:

    Oh Wow, it’s amazing how you do it all! I agree, the only way to handle a group for any length is organization. And, you certainly have that down. I couldn’t manage without my “lists” which is easy for me. I love your island and the set-up for snacks. You always inspire me ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Sharon Mann says:

    What a feast and colorful decorations. Your family must love to visit.

  7. Kari says:

    I want one of everything on your menu board Jenna….and I love that you make lists as we discussed on my post of such. Having all your plates, flatware etc all set up makes perfect sense when you are feeding a bunch. Enjoy your family time at the beach. Sounds like so much fun.

  8. Jenna, you amaze me with your organization and ease of entertaining crowds. Your celebrations are always so festive with fabulous food! Yep, you are Alabamaโ€™s Martha Stewart!

    • I’ll let you in on a little secret, I do it because it makes me happy, purely selfish! But seriously, I truly believe that everyday should be a celebration, thank you Pam…

  9. Pattie says:

    Jenna, the words “organized” and “life” just are not paired together in my world. Sigh. I do envy those like you who are so organized and plan ahead. I love all of the goodies here, and the food looks delicious.

  10. Jodi says:

    so festive!

  11. pattyanneart says:

    I love how you organize your recipes and menus. So many great tips and ideas! Everything is so beautiful and festive!!

  12. Cyndi Raines says:

    Great food, family and fun = a great 4th of July Holiday! Love how you plan and I agree, planning helps eliminate the stress. Where would we be without our lists? I plan on doing some decorating tomorrow, it will be here before we know it! Happy 4th! ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธโ™ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  13. Cherryl Ehlenburg says:

    The decorations are so festive, and my mouth is watering for those recipes! Pinning for sure!

  14. Loni says:

    I love your 4th of July decor, it’s so festive! Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Loni

  15. Love all the coastal aspects you share with your prep for July 4th! We’d love to have you link up at Tuesday Turn About, tomorrow at 5pm CST!

  16. marilyn1998 says:

    Thank you for sharing at #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Pinned and shared.

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  1. […] posted a mini version of this list last week to help get a head start on Planning for the 4th of […]

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