New Years and Christmas!

Happy New Year, friends! I hope you all were able to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones. I took a good amount of time off, spent time with family and friends, and tried to have a few “lazy days” here and there (self-care!). I won’t go into too many details, but I did want to share some snapshots of treasured moments this month. The first thing to note is that I made two traditionally Slovenian desserts: Potica (pictured first) and Apple Strudel (pictured second). These are family recipes and the desserts of my people. Neither of these are the recipes that my family uses, but it gives you a good idea of what you’re getting into when I offer you these dishes around the holidays:

Potica 2014Apple Strudel 2014

I was able to go to Christmas at DePaul with Matt, which always puts me in the Christmas Spirit! It’s a gift to the community from the church/music program at my alma mater.

Christmas at DePaul 2014

There was a Christmas celebration with “church” friends (Matt, Andy, Alex, Alec, Emily, Laura, Mark, Jon, Molly, and Sean). This is a note from my secret Santa:

Secret Santa 2014

I spent time with Emily by going to lunch with her and another friend, Jen at Hamburgerseria in Joliet. Always good to spend time with one of my most long-term pals!

Emily.Jen.I.Christmas 2014

During that little adventure, we got Riley a treat from 2 Paws 4 U, a new pet bakery in Joliet. Matt thinks those are the dumbest places, but it was actually super cute and Riley enjoyed the treat! See?

Christmas Cookie 2014

My sister and I celebrated our annual trip to Christkindlmarket and Piece:

Christmas Trip 2014

Followed by the annual Lincoln Park Zoo Lights trip with Mom, Aunt Nancy, Uncle Buddy, and Boot:

Zoo Lights 2014.1

I spent Christmas Eve with Matt and his family at his brother and sister-in-law’s (Kerry and Kim), where they had taco night and merriment:

Christmas Eve 2014

And most of Christmas day was spent with my family. Here is a picture of Shadow on the presents:

Christmas Shadow 2014

My mom’s tree does not change much each year, but still fills me with the warm and fuzzies each time I see it:

Christmas 2014

I ended the year at The Globe and then my apartment with Matt, Alec, and Emily. We were supposed to go to a super fun masks required NYE house party, but we left The Globe and realized “holy crap, it’s so cold my ears might fall off!” and decided to go back to our place. Here is a picture of Emily and I, donning our masks:

Emily and I NYE 2014

I hope you all had a season full of good food, warm blankets, fantastic company, and cheer! I am hoping for a much less tumultuous 2015 and much more stability. Happy holidays and Happy New Year!

Until next time,

Amanda

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