It's the New Year! And while it's always sad when the holidays end (we never tire of cookies and champagne around here), January brings the excitement of a fresh start. We took it easy with the resolutions this year at Greenhouse Loft, and decided to take small steps towards greater health and happiness! Steve's New Year's resolution is to get adventurous with his personal fashion, and buy at least one pair of very cool shoes. There's been a lot of green juicing and hearty veggie soups and stews, like this New Year's favorite from 101 Cookbooks (we're also dying to try homemade chicken pho). We haven't really quit the cookies and champagne, though, and we probably never will.

After so many parties, so much traveling, and all that much-needed time spent with friends and family, it can feel great to turn inward, get centered, and take on new creative pursuits. Taking an art class in ceramics, sewing, photography, or metalsmithing, or taking a cooking class alone or with someone you love can be such a relaxing treat in the middle of winter (in Chicago, we love Lillstreet Art Center and Kendall College's classes for home chefs!)

The New Year is also the perfect time to organize finances, set goals, and dream big dreams for the future. Genevieve has recently begun using Mint.com, an online financial planning tool that keeps track of all accounts and makes budgeting easy. We can imagine a tool like this being really helpful for couples and families at the start of their wedding planning journey!

The best way to ring in the New Year and beat the winter cold, of course, is to get tropical- whether by staying in and experimenting with these cocktails, or by skipping town and having your banana daiquiri on the beach like Jamie did! Check out her gorgeous Hawaii vacation photos below.

And when the Arctic blast hit Chicago, we stayed warm by watching this viral video of a baby polar bear taking its first steps!!

In other news, we're so looking forward to Committed, an awesome avant-garde wedding event sponsored by the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance and taking place right here at Greenhouse Loft! Come by and have cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while meeting Chicago's best green wedding vendors. It's going to be such a fun time!

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