January Coffee Chat: Food, Travel, and a Self-Challenge

Everyone I know has massive goals for 2018 and with January nearly at an end I hope they are all killing it. I, for one, am feeling awesome about this year so far . . . lots of time in the kitchen, several trips on the horizon, and setting up a challenge that will make me even more focused and energized to reach those goals.


It is probably a good thing my baking has leaned towards healthier sweets (check out our ten favs); because I’ve been on a bit of a pasta and bread kick in the dinner department. As much as I love recipes and cookbooks – ask my husband about my cookbook collection and my folder full of ripped out magazine pages, not to mention my pinterest boards. Anyway, it is nice sometimes to just go in blind with no real plan. Giant pasta shells that you can stuff are a great way to do this and if you want a pasta companion that is pure heaven you should try Saltie’s Focaccia by Marian Bull on Food52. We originally used it for shakshuka focaccia, but we’ve been making it in a sheet pan topped with garlic and rosemary recently.

Stuffed shells


cooked stuffed shells


2018 is going to be a year getting back into travel. The past several years have been all about family trips, beach stays, and little local exploration. Already this year we have two trips planned, a third in the works, and a list of mini local adventures made.

First up, the Gulf Shores Alabama for a family getaway. I’m still getting used to the fact that with kids in school you are VERY limited to when you can travel so for our first spring break we are meeting family for a little beach time. This will be our super relaxing trip of the year – sand, sun, and naps. Oh and I’ve been drooling over the ice cream creations at The Yard Milkshake Bar that is now at the top of my list for places to visit once we get there. I mean check this out . . .


Any other recommendations for the Gulf Shores?

This year is also our 10th wedding anniversary and we are foregoing the tin or aluminum tradition for a trip. We went back and forth on where to go and finally settled on Italy. I am so ready to get back to exploring cities full of history, food, and culture and Italy holds a special place in our hearts. So we are planning an epic two week trip and I can’t wait to share it with you guys! You just have to wait until June πŸ™‚


One of my biggest and hardest goals for this year is to change my mindset to live a life that is inline with my intentions and to be aware in each moment. So to those ends I am setting a month long challenge for myself in February. I’ll let you guys know how it goes, but I’d love to hear how you are challenging yourself, becoming more aware, and exploring your world.

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