This morning we woke up and started our official shift out of the holiday routine and back to real life. We woke up, had our breakfast and our coffee, wiggled out of PJs and into regular old clothes, kissed Daddy a million times and waved him off to work. It's 2019 and just like that a new year takes off, not without a tiny hint of pressure to embrace it fully instead of go into it kicking screaming that the lovely holiday season is over.

Christmas presents have found (slightly more) permanent homes throughout the house. A few extra loads of laundry beckon. The fridge needs to be cleared out and a couple of bananas on the counter turned a little overripe. It's a sure sign that we need to keep the easy pace of the past week going and make a batch of Banana Walnut Bread together. Little aprons on and measuring cups in hand, grab a recipe and begin one of my favorite activities: time in the kitchen together. Swap the white sugar for brown sugar and, always, add extra cinnamon and vanilla. Not only does the house smell amazing, but we get to welcome Dad back home with one of his favorite treats.

I love teaching my kids the value and reward in making something by hand for the people they love. Plus, we got to turn something old into something new. Both of which feel like pretty good lessons to have in our hearts at the start of a brand new year.

Banana Walnut Bread Recipe
Inspired by the recipe found on Food & Wine, tweaked by me!
Also, feel free to add about 8 oz. of chocolate chips if you're feeling wild.

3 oz. roughly chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1/2 cup canola oil
2-3 medium overripe bananas, smashed (reserve this job for an eager 2 year old if you have one)
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray or a light coat of canola oil.

Combine dry ingredients (minus the walnuts) in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together.

Combine the wet ingredients (including the bananas) in a mixer and beat on high until smooth and creamy.

Stir in the dry ingredients until blended. Fold in the walnuts.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a fork inserted into the center comes out smooth. Let cool. Cut a slice. Smother with butter. Pour coffee. Enjoy!