New Year: Goals + Family Vacation Pt. 2

Well, Happy New Year!

Almond Milk Matcha Latte

This will be a pretty exciting one for me–GC and I are getting married this year! Sometimes I still can’t believe it, but when I think about it I am just so happy! Last year we graduated, got engaged, moved to a new state, started new jobs…lots of big changes. This year will probably be more calm. 

Green Smoothie

So, what are my resolutions for the year? I actually don’t believe in resolutions since it has become almost a joke that they are always broken within a matter of weeks or months. Instead, I like to set some intentions of what I would like to focus on this upcoming year.

1. Prioritize my fitness
We’re really settling into our apartment, adjusting to the working world, and finally exercising on a regular basis. GC was always good about going to the gym every day, sometimes even twice a day! But I’ve struggled to get the motivation to wake up at 6 am and just go! So now I am turning over a new leaf: going to bed earlier, winding down with no computer before bed, and trying to not press snooze…it has been pretty successful so far!

2. Cook at home
I already do a decent job at this, but I still buy lunch out every once in a while. This year, I want to focus on cooking 95% of my meals at home, for multiple reasons. Firstly, I feel much healthier when I eat my meals at home–eating meals out always makes me feel sluggish and not 100%. Secondly, it is cheaper! There is no reason to pay 2-3x for food I can easily make at home! I just have to keep reminding myself that 🙂 If you want some cookbook inspiration, check out our favorite books.

3. Take time to disconnect
Technology addiction is a real thing–and I’ve noticed it myself. When I wake up, walk to the metro, wait in the grocery store line, etc– I feel empty if I don’t have my phone in hand. Realizing that I have this feeling is pretty disconcerting, so I am making a conscious effort to engage in the outside world, to be with the people I’m with, instead of spending my life in a black box.

4. Practice gratitude every day
Gratitude–we always hear that we should have it, but it can be so hard to maintain. I’ve been doing a meditation on the “Breathe” app on my phone called Gratitude, and it has been very grounding to me. It reminds me that even the little things in life deserve gratitude: running water, waking up with electricity, having a job, being close to my beautiful family. I have much to be grateful for in this life!

5. Only buy useful things
Stop buying junk! This is a big thing for me that has been a focus over the past few years. My parents’ motto is to “Only buy things once”. (i.e. don’t buy something crappy that you know you will need to replace in a year or two or three. This goes for really anything you need). Invest in what you put in your home and life, and you will be come richer, both mentally and in your bank account, from not wasting time and money constantly replacing items! I love to look at secondhand places for beautiful furniture and other home items–things seem to be made much more sturdier in the ‘olden days’, and if you can find a piece of beautiful wood furniture, go for it!

New Year's

Matching soma pajamas

Anyways, on to the celebration of the New Year! We rang in the new year up in Pennsylvania…our new home. Oh, and we got matching PJs. Can you tell we love them? 🙂

We had a big feast New Year’s Eve. I started my day with this amazing new almond milk yogurt I found at the grocery store. If you look carefully, there is an unsweetened one by Kite Hill.  I mixed it with a mango, some raw local honey, and candied pecans. Have to say, it was a great way to start the day!

Mango yogurt parfait

Our family’s mushroom man stopped by and gave us these beauties below, and I turned them into delicious mushroom crostini + balsamic glaze, and a white wine mushroom risotto.


We also put to good use the new cookbook we got, Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen! These two recipes, the eggplant lasagna and homemade tiramisu are both from her. Even the non-vegans couldn’t believe they were vegan! Great success!

Eggplant Lasagna

Vegan Tiramisu

What are your favorite family size meals? I find Italian always works really well for family size portions 🙂
Have a very happy new year!

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