Hi there. I’ve been MIA thanks to a quick trip to Florida to visit with Brian’s parents who are there for the rest of the week. I’m back now and boy is this “Hotlanta” thing a big lie. It’s freezing here! Anyway, here are a few links keeping me going.

1. So Anna Faris has a podcast? I had no idea, but now I do. This write-up of her latest episode where she interviewed both Jennifer Lawrence and her Chris Pratt sounds both fun and awkward. Why? Well, if you’re not as celebrity-gossip savvy as me, JLaw and Chris (Anna’s husband) filmed a sex scene together. (Vanity Fair)
2. I follow way too many Instagram accounts as it is, but I’m always looking to add a few more. Here, Emily shares a few of her favorites. (Cupcakes & Cashmere)
3. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, people. Naturally, I need this heart mold cake pan. (Amazon)
4. I’ve decided I must win tomorrow night’s Powerball, even if this article about my terrible chances and a high possibility of a shared pot is a bit of a downer. (Yahoo!)
5. By no means am I an authority on nutrition or dieting (I suck at both), but I do hate it when people blindly count calories (this was a recent topic of conversation). Here’s a good explainer for why. (Refinery29)
6. A new War & Peace tv series is coming to the BBC. I hadn’t heard anything about it until Sunday night’s Golden Globes, and now I can’t wait to see it. (YouTube)
7. So I don’t know why I’m just now getting around to watching Graham Norton celebrity interview clips (here’s one with Eddie Redmayne and Jennifer Lawrence), but better late than never. I just love the British. They do everything better, even late-night tv. (YouTube)
8. It is my life’s goal to be the true “hostess with the mostest.” Here are 15 hosting tips from some of the best of them.  (A Cup of Jo)

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Recipe Reciprocity - Cajun Chicken PastaRecipe Reciprocity - Skinny Spinach LasagnaRecipe Reciprocity - Chili Cornbread Pot PieRecipe Reciprocity - Pot Pie Potato SkinsRecipe Reciprocity - Apple Spinach Salad
Let me give you a little insight into my stomach and how it seems to have a mind of its own. So, when I sat down to find some recipes for this post, my first thought was, “What healthy dish can I make with the chicken breasts I want to use tomorrow?” Here’s how that panned out: 

1. Sure there’s an abundance of healthy chicken recipes out there, but I somehow only had eyes for the really indulgent ones like Damn Delicious’s Cajun Chicken Pasta. Old habits die hard. 
2. And because I was riding the pasta train, I thought to myself, “Hey! How about some gooey, cheesy lasagna?” Which brought me to this recipe from Pinch of Yum. At least there’s spinach? 
3. But the lasagna is vegetarian, so naturally, that got me thinking about meat, which got me thinking about the great big pot of chili I made the other night, which then got me thinking, “Hmm, what can be better than chili?” The answer: The Weary Chef’s Chili Cornbread Pot Pie. Genius. 
4. Which then led me to these Chicken Pot Pie Potato Skins by Whole & Heavenly Oven. I mean, how perfect? 
5. So that’s how my mind works. And because I couldn’t bear to be a complete healthy-eating failure, here’s a recipe for Apple, White Cheddar & Spinach Salad with Honey-Apple Cider Vinaigrette by Averie Cooks. 

As always, a big hat tip to my fellow food bloggers. Thanks for the great inspiration, ladies!

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Happy hump day, friends! Today’s pic-me-up comes in the form of moving pictures with yet another home video. This time starring our white Christmas in the Colorado mountains with my family.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ll be converting to Judaism later this year after I complete my conversion studies. As it goes, Christmas (or Xmas) no longer holds any religious meaning for me (and hasn’t for a while if I’m going to be honest). All that aside, the holiday is still something I really look forward to, because it means I get to spend time with my family, my childhood friends, and I’m never one to pass up a gift-giving opportunity. Brian’s been a great sport through all of this, and much as he insists that he’d still prefer to sit in solitude on December 25th, because “that’s just what Jews do,” I’d like to think that he’s been enjoying this new tradition of living the good life in the Colorado Rockies. And as you’ll see, he still found plenty of opportunities to stay true to his heritage. I’d also like some credit for my song choice, the aptly titled “Unbelievers” by Vampire Weekend. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the show. Two things of note: (1) we went skiing (Brian’s first time, my first in about 15 years) and (2) we took our new GoPro out for a spin (awesome wedding gift). I have so much fun making these little videos that I don’t think I could ever tire of them. I hope you feel the same way (more videos for your viewing pleasure here). Enjoy!

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I hope this Tuesday finds you well. Here are some of my many current distractions. 

1. This design-a-wig tool is the answer to all my problems. (Elle)
2. I love Joy Cho of Oh Joy! and her newest Target product line is no exception. (Oh Joy!)
3. I was already considering a compact fabric steamer, so when Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere included hers on her list of best purchases from the last year, any hesitation I had was settled. God bless, Amazon Prime. (Amazon)
4. Speaking of Emily, I recently ordered her Cupcakes & Cashmere at Home book for both my perusing and coffee-table pleasure and I’m really enjoying it. (Amazon)
5. I didn’t add a better skincare routine to my resolutions for this year, but I probably should have. I’m clueless when it comes to beauty products so this list of the best ones is a good guide. (The Glitter Guide)
6. These 16 healthier recipes for comfort foods look amazing. I need to try that spaghetti squash pad thai asap. (The Kitchn)
7. How to Properly Clean Your Beauty Products. I don’t recognize half of these things, but the tips for the ones I do are quite helpful. (Refinery29)
8. I love anything in a fake sheepskin so this fluffy DIY stool is right up my alley. (A Beautiful Mess)

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Today is going to be a major wake-up call – not because work will be particularly busy, but because the past two weeks have been some of the best I’ve had. For the first time, I got to experience the holidays in a world free of the demands that come with working in television news. Translation: no 24-hour news cycle, no being in the office for the sake of being in the office. Instead, I got to unplug (for the most part) and enjoy both the benefits of time at home in Colorado (video to come), and my first-ever staycation here in Atlanta. I am not exaggerating when I call the whole thing life-changing. 

Anyway, enough about that. Reminiscing about the bliss that was these past few days isn’t helping me jump back in today, so without further ado, here’s a look at some of my personal resolutions for this year. I’m keeping the list to just a few key points this year. It’s a strategy that straddles both the keeping-expectations-low and focusing-on-what-matters lines. Here they are:

· Blog more, obviously.
As much work as it can be, I genuinely enjoy blogging and need to get back to my routine. There will inevitably be nights where I won’t have it in me to write the next day’s post, but I shouldn’t let those instances derail my whole week. Last year, I put so much pressure on myself to post polished, put-together pieces that I ended up not posting much of anything. In 2016, I’m going to do my best and post whenever I can, even if it’s not my best work. You’ll still love me, right?

· Cook more and eat better.
Thanks to Classpass, I’ve kept to a pretty good morning exercise routine. But thanks to my overeating and complete disregard for my diet (I blame a few too many juice cleanses before the wedding), I have nothing to show for it. In 2016, I want to keep up the workout routine and balance it with a healthier diet. Translation: fewer impulse purchases of my favorite Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

· Be a better friend. 
Thanks again to the wedding, in 2015, I was on the receiving end of some of the best displays of friendship ever seen. This year, I’d like to return the favor and be a better friend. This means doing a better job keeping in touch (I’m terrible about that) and planning more trips to visit these same friends. My dearest friend Megan got engaged on Christmas Day (!), so I’m really looking forward to being her right-hand woman in her planning process, just as she was mine. 

· Make our house a home.
Five months into living in our first house and the furniture situation is still very bare-bones. There’s something really nice about the lack of clutter, but in 2016, I resolve to make some big furniture decisions (I have been sooo indecisive), and get our house feeling more like a home. Some rooms are coming along faster than others and I hope to share a status update soon.

· Improve my Chinese.
Brian and I have been calling 2016 our “Year of the Motherland Trips,” because we’ll be going to both China and Israel in the second half of this year. As such, Brian is trying to learn Chinese (emphasis on try), and while he’s at it, I’d like to try and improve my own reading and writing abilities. Speaking Mandarin has never been much of a problem for me, it’s the other parts where I’m much more rusty. Fun fact: there is no Chinese alphabet, so you either know a word or you don’t. My people don’t make things easy.

Ok, that ought to do it. Surely I can keep on top of these five things, right? How about you? What tops your list this year?

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Holiday Card Front

{Our Holiday Card}

Happy New Year, friends! I hope your 2016 is off to a great start. I ended my 2015 not knowing how to play poker, and started the year getting the hang of it, even if my dwindling pile of chips suggested otherwise. 

My best friend Rohini and her boyfriend have been with us the last couple days and we’ve been having a grand old time keeping it very low-key, just like I like it. One thing’s for sure, we are not the wild young things we were just a few years ago, and that’s ok. I’m very much liking this pushing-30 me.

I’ll share more on my resolutions later, but one of them is appreciating the passing of time instead of dreading it. I’ve never been a huge fan of the New Year holiday, because being who I am, I get in this bad habit of being very critical of myself, looking back and nitpicking at all of the things I coulda-shoulda-woulda done differently. This time around, I’m making a conscious effort to appreciate that I’ve had the good fortune to live another day and year and am taking more time for reflection, and more time to be with those that I love. My dear husband Brian (I’m still not used to calling him that – in general, it’s a very weird word that word “husband”) and his way of making me feel protected and cheerful have been a great help in getting me there. So anyway, 2016, I’m ready for you, and am very much looking forward to living in the moment, a whole heck of a lot more than I was doing last year. I don’t know about you, but my 2015 was absolutely bonkers – bonkers in the best way of course ;). 

Once more, a very Happy New Year to you and yours!

P.S. My lack of posting is once again due to some blog login issues I’ve been having, but I hope I’ve taken care of them. That and binging on Making a Murderer on Netflix. If you haven’t already started watching, run, don’t walk. 

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