Peace, Love, and Joy : Christmas 2015, Part Two

Wishing all of you a Happy New Year! Today is the first Monday of the new year, and that’s something to celebrate for sure! I love looking ahead to the new year, planning resolutions, setting goals, and embracing all the opportunity that 2016 has to offer. I’ll be sharing a post on how to embrace the idea of a BETTER you, not necessarily a NEW you, soon, as we look ahead to 2016.


A couple of days after Christmas, I headed with my family to Ohio, to visit with extended family for the week. It’s always so nice to see everyone; because of the distance, we only get a chance to visit once or twice a year.


The first day, I spent a few hours shopping with my sister in Easton. There are so many more stores to go to in that area, so you have to take advantage of the good shopping when you can, right?? The streets were beautifully decorated for the holiday season, and the afternoon was such a pleasant one with my sister. She also lives farther away, so I don’t get to see her as often as I would like.




After a few hours of shopping, I was ready to refeul for round two, so we stopped by an adorable café, NorthStar, to grab some lunch. I had been there once before for an afternoon coffee break (if you ever visit, I highly recommend their dark chocolate truffle cookie. Rich, decadent, and melt-in-your mouth. Need I say more?) They have four locations spread throughout Ohio, but I wish they had one around here.




After browsing their menu, I selected the Buddha Bowl to try. Northstar describes this dish as, “a seared organic tofu or roasted chicken, long-grain organic brown rice with peanut sauce, and bright veggies.” I opted for black beans instead of tofu or chicken, and enjoyed it so much I’ve recreated it at home twice since, using the Thai Peanut Sauce from the Oh She Glows Cookbook. This recipe will definitely be a staple in my kitchen during the coming winter months!




After shopping, we headed back to spend the night relaxing, catch up with one another, and enjoy what seemed like an endless supply of Christmas cookies.




Lovely ladies!




I also spent time during the week visiting with my grandpa, and doing some baking for him. It’s been two years since my grandma passed away, and though I still miss her every day, I am grateful each day for new memories that are made, the time I have to spend with my grandpa, and the memories we have to reminisce over today.




I used my grandma’s classic family recipe to make several loaves of banana bread.

Original recipe right here, cooking stains and all!




Fresh out of the oven is how it’s best enjoyed!



The rest of the week was spent just relaxing with family, and enjoying the time that we have together. New memories are made each day, and life is about meshing the memories you already have with the new ones you create.

Cheers to a new year!




All good things must come to an end, so it was time to get back into the swing of things today and head back to work! It was hard to end the relaxing break and jump back into the a routine, but I was so happy to see my kids at school again today. Have a wonderful night!

Let’s Chat!

  • What did you enjoy most over the holiday season?
  • What are you looking forward to in the new year?

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