Craving the Ultimate Reset? 20 Ways to Make the Most of the Final Week of the Year

I’ve heard it referred to as “dead week” or “Feral Week“—those final days of the year, for many, are considered a throwaway. Kids are home from school, and even those working take things at a slower pace. (Said differently: Don’t expect your Slack to get a response until 2024.) The vibes are relaxed and the pace is slow. But often, when things start up again come January 2, we wonder where the time went—and we regret not spending it more intentionally. So, if you’re wondering what to do with the Christmas-New Year’s week, stay with us. We have the inspiration you need.

It’s so easy to take the next few days as an excuse to zone out in front of your screen. And by all means, do what you need to without any guilt or shame. But rather than simply “filling” the time offered to us, take this as our invitation to reflect on what would feel most nourishing and energizing—and do exactly that.

Image by Jenn Rose Smith

How to Spend the Final Week of 2023 With Intention

While of course, I look forward to Christmas and New Year’s days themselves, it’s the days in between that I find myself counting down to. There’s something so sweet about the collective lull and our ability to step away from the busyness of it all. Suddenly, social media feels less important, and I find myself naturally gravitating toward relaxing activities. But… I also recognize this funny, Christmas-New Year’s final week of the year as an opportunity to reset. It’s a moment when I can reconnect with what’s important, and take those intentions with me into the year to come.

So whatever you’re looking for this week—whether it’s a jump-start on your 2024 fitness goals or a moment to realign—consider this your ultimate guide to spending the final week of the year with intention. Ahead, discover all you need to step into 2024 feeling your best.

Linen bedding.
Image by Jenn Rose Smith

If You’re Craving a Factory Reset

That’s right, it’s not just for your phone. Get inspired with these ideas for starting the new year fresh.

  1. Do a closet clean-out. It might just be the most satisfying way to spend a day (or several… ). Do a complete Kondo-style overhaul and sort through what you’ll keep, donate, and give to friends or family. Follow these five steps to curate a wardrobe you love.
  2. Make a vision board. It’s our favorite way to make our goals and intentions for the new year a reality. We share all the inspiration and guidance you need to make a vision board and pick up our Casa Zuma Vision Board Kit for an *aesthetic* helping hand.
  3. Update your skincare routine. Your medicine cabinet needs it. Consult with your aesthetician to discover the in-office treatments that fit your winter skin needs best. (Or, if you don’t already work with a professional, connect with one, stat.) From there, follow all the steps of a skincare reset. Trust us: it’s such a satisfying process.
  4. Sort through your bookshelf. Do you have books from the neighborhood lending library you’re never going to read? Or are there self-help titles just gathering dust? Determine what you’re looking forward to reading this year and get rid of the rest. Bonus: It’ll free up more space for all the new books you can’t wait to plow through. Get inspired with our editors’ favorite reads of 2023.
  5. Clean out your pantry. As soon as I get back from my holiday travels, this is the first to-do on my list. (Yes, even before I unpack my bag.) Donate what won’t get used, sort your spices, and purchase new organizing tools if necessary. Get inspired with Camille’s complete pantry clean-out.
  6. Overhaul your workspace. If you want to start the work year feeling inspired and energized, do this immediately. Get rid of files you don’t need, papers that can be recycled, and all the junk that tends to gather on our desks. The same goes for your digital workspace as well. I recently cleaned out my desktop folders and wow—my work routine has been transformed.
  7. Streamline your phone. This is surprisingly satisfying. Delete old apps you don’t use (or those you don’t want to use), create folders of similar apps, delete contacts and old text messages—all of it! Take this time to also opt out of any subscriptions you no longer use.
  8. Deep-clean your home. While many of these tasks are a part of cleaning your home, setting aside a few days to really overhaul your space is one of the best ways to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Identify the areas you want to prioritize and make a plan for getting it done. New year, new sparkling-clean home.
  9. Commit to a sleep routine. In 2024, you will be the person who gets 7-8 hours of sleep. It makes such a difference in all areas of your life. Here’s how to start sleeping better tonight.
  10. Find a supportive morning ritual. If you find yourself waking up minutes before your first Zoom meeting, this is the best way to spend the days leading up to New Year’s. Get inspired with these morning routine ideas and dive deep into Camille’s step-by-step AM rituals.
Woman reading.

If You Need True Restorative Rest

Sometimes, the best way to truly experience a refresh is by giving yourself the time you need to rest. I tell everyone, but the most relaxing time of my life was post-freshman finals week, and I spent three days in my bed binge-watching Mad Men. By the time I was on season four, I decided I’d had enough—and I was able to step back into my life feeling completely reinvigorated.

11. Practice breathwork. Barre3 is my favorite fitness program and every workout ends with a few minutes of breathwork. It’s a wonderful way to calm your nervous system. And the beauty of it is that you can spend as much or as little time on it as you’d like—and you’ll still reap the benefits. We tapped a breathwork coach to learn everything about the practice, plus the best way to start.

12. Discover a restorative form of movement. PSA: Low-impact workouts are in for 2024 (and beyond!). Instead of going hard every day—and putting lots of stress on your body—at the gym or in the cycle studio, explore yoga, Pilates, strength conditioning, and more. The start of the year is the perfect time to connect with a workout that supports your individual needs and goals best.

13. Try sauna and cold plunge. Everyone’s doing it, and the benefits speak for themselves. Plenty of gyms offer saunas and cold plunges (for Chicago locals, the Kohler Waters Spa is my favorite). And while a cold plunge is inevitably colder, a cold shower can work in a pinch.

14. Binge-watch your favorite shows. Like my Mad Men story above, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a better time in 2024 to get caught up on your favorite shows. Anything to take your mind off the to-do lists you’ll return to in the new year is perfect.

15. Make crafts. Is there anything more gratifying than making something with your hands? These are our favorite DIY decor projects that range from beginner to seasoned maker. Or, if you’ve wanted to pick up knitting or crocheting, dive deep into YouTube tutorials to get started. It’s my favorite activity to pair with a reality show marathon (see above).

16. Connect with something you loved doing as a kid. Did you write plays in your free time? Scrapbook your heart out? Get creative in the kitchen? Whatever you loved doing as a child, set aside this time for doing that. Prioritizing more time for play can amplify our creativity and get us into a flow state. And if you’ve experienced it before, you know there’s no better feeling.

17. Try ‘parallel play’ with a friend or partner. While the term is traditionally used to describe how infants and toddlers play separately, but together, I like using it for my relationships as well. In practice, it looks like getting together with someone and spending time doing an activity on your own. You can be in the living room together, at a coffee shop—wherever! I love reading together, crafting together, and in truth, just scrolling through funny Reels.

18. Experiment with lymphatic massage. I am a huge proponent of the lymphatic drainage trend. Whether it’s doing facial gua sha, using your favorite tool at home, or doing an in-office treatment, lymphatic massage is a wonderful way to relax while also experiencing plenty of health and aesthetic benefits (i.e., boosted circulation, reduced inflammation, etc.).

19. Practice positive affirmations. The power of positive affirmations is real. And while it may seem awkward to say kind things to yourself out loud, the more you do it, the more you begin not only believing but embodying the truths you’re sharing with yourself. I love doing it in the morning as a part of my daily routine. It’s the ultimate energizing wake-up.

20. Commit to a journaling practice. As a previous journaling skeptic myself, I get it. Sitting down for at least 5-10 minutes with nothing but your thoughts can be boring at best and uncomfortable at worst. But by giving yourself the time to explore what’s going on in your life by putting pen to paper, you begin to see patterns in your thinking and can work out solutions on the page. For inspiration, check out Camille’s journaling practice, and try a guided journal for additional support.

Make This Pear, Prosciutto, and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese When You’re Craving Comfort

Cozy season is upon us, and with it, the craving for comfort food (best enjoyed with a side of Netflix and cozy socks). And let’s face it: there’s nothing quite like the combination of flavors found in the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. It’s the ideal blend of golden crunch and creaminess, and really needs no improvement. But why not elevate it with a seasonal twist? Enter my prosciutto, mozzarella, and pear grilled cheese that’s almost sophisticated enough for a dinner party… and every bit as drool-worthy as it sounds.

The Best Pear & Cheese Pairings

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s talk pear and cheese pairings (say that five times fast, lol). Pears, with their sweet and juicy texture, have long been a classic complement to a range of cheeses. From the creaminess of Brie to the robust stinkiness of blue, pears’ versatility makes them an excellent pairing for various cheese options, but it’s hard to beat this pear-meets-mozzarella combo. Its melt-in-your-mouth quality ensures an unforgettable sandwich.

What You’ll Need to Make This Recipe


  • Ciabatta bread
  • Fig preserves (I used fig butter from Trader Joe’s)
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Arugula — its peppery bite balances out the creaminess
  • Thinly-sliced prosciutto
  • Pear — any firm, sweet variety works well
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Balsamic reduction

How to Make This Pear Grilled Cheese

  1. First, we’re going to halve the ciabatta bread and toast it under the broiler until it’s golden.
  2. Then we add our fig preserves to both sides.
    • To one side, add torn mozzarella, arugula, and prosciutto.
    • To the other side, layer on torn mozzarella, sliced pear, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
  3. Pop back under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is perfectly melted.
  4. Then we’re going to sprinkle some fresh rosemary and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
  5. Press the two sides together, slice, and devour.

Getting the Perfect Melt

Since a grilled cheese with cheese that’s only halfway melted is a major letdown, let’s talk about how to get the full melt and gooeyness we’re looking for. I like to set my oven to broil and pop the sandwich underneath “open-faced” style to get an even melt without making the bread too soggy or the cheese too crispy.

Butter Versus Oil Versus Mayonnaise

You may or may not be aware that there’s a healthy debate on the interwebs about butter versus mayo on grilled cheese. While traditionalists swear by butter for its rich flavor and golden finish, others opt for mayo due to its even spread and crispy result. However, for our grilled cheese, we’re fully leaning into the Mediterranean flavors by using olive oil to toast the bread, and the fig preserves provide plenty of moisture inside the sandwich without the need for additional fats.


Whether it’s a cozy evening indoors or casual night with friends, this prosciutto, mozzarella, and pear grilled cheese recipe promises to elevate your fall. Scroll on for the recipe…


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Filled with crunchy pear, salty prosciutto, and creamy mozzarella, this grilled cheese is the perfect sandwich for a cozy dinner.

  • 1 ciabatta roll, or a 5-6-inch piece of ciabatta bread
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fig preserves
  • A few pieces of torn mozzarella
  • A handful of arugula
  • 1/2 pear
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Balsamic glaze/reduction

    1. Preparation: Set your oven to broil and place a rack on the upper third level.
    2. Toast the Ciabatta: Halve the ciabatta bread and brush both sides with a little olive oil. Toast the top sides until they’re golden. Flip and lightly toast the other sides.
    3. Add the Flavors: Spread fig preserves generously on both sides of the ciabatta.
    4. To one side, add torn mozzarella, arugula, and prosciutto. To the other side, layer on torn mozzarella, sliced pear, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
    5. Melt and Crisp: Pop both sides back under the broiler “open-faced style,” and broil until the cheese is perfectly melted.
    6. Final Touches: Once out of the oven, sprinkle some fresh rosemary and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
    7. Serve: Press the two sides together, slice, and enjoy your sophisticated grilled cheese.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: lunch, sandwich

Keywords: pear grilled cheese, sandwich recipes

Craving Cozy? 23 Fall Recipes That Can Take the Heat

While I’m ready to make the swap from sundresses to sweaters and lemon bars to pumpkin bread, September’s temperatures seem to disagree. It’s that funny, in-between time of the year when we’re all craving the coziness of chilly weather but the days seem to be hanging onto near-triple digit temps. As far as I’m concerned, the day after Labor Day marks the official end of summer, and yet it’s the hottest it’s been all year. (Which is seriously squandering my cozy season plans.) Iced pumpkin spice latte? No, thanks. So, with both my fall cravings and the temperatures at a high, I’ve needed a few summer-to-fall recipes that will ease me into the new season, one day at a time.

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

23 Summer to Fall Recipes for a Seamless Seasonal Transition

From lasagna to tortilla soup, these have been my go-to recipes for slowly introducing fall foods back into my kitchen. (Without overheating at the same time.) Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even a few sweet treats thrown into the mix—these are my favorite simple and delicious, transitional summer-to-fall recipes. 


Spiced Peach and Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Why We Love It: When it comes to summer-to-fall recipes, one of the keys is incorporating fresh ingredients that span the seasons. Case in point, this baked oatmeal. It pairs peaches and pecans for a spicy and sweet blend of summer-to-fall goodness. Hot tip: swap in your favorite fruits all throughout the year. That way, you can enjoy this baked oatmeal anytime you’d like.

Hero Ingredient: Maple syrup is the quintessential fall sweetener.

Banana Pumpkin Muffins

Why We Love It: I know you’re feeling it too: we’re all craving pumpkin-everything right now. But because pumpkin pie is more fit for October, I’m still looking to work the ingredient into my daily meals without going overboard. Enter: banana pumpkin muffins. These healthier-than-they-taste morning treats are gluten-free and dairy-free, letting everyone enjoy their deliciousness. If you want to go sweeter, fold in a handful of chocolate chips. It’s almost like dessert for breakfast. Almost.

Hero Ingredient: A half-cup of pumpkin puree not only makes these muffins taste like fall, but they lend both a touch of sweetness and a moist crumb to these addicting treats.

Get Figgy With It Smoothie

Why We Love It: In case you haven’t heard, smoothies aren’t just for spring and summer. Simply omit the ice and opt for a few warming ingredients. Figs, cinnamon, ginger, and maple syrup help take this refreshing sipper straight into the fall. Trust, you’ll be enjoying it all season long.

Hero Ingredient: Tahini is a tasty, nut-free peanut or almond butter alternative. Healthy fats, creamy texture. Perfection.

One Bowl Morning Glory Muffins

Why We Love It: When we posted this recipe for morning glory muffins a couple of years back, we weren’t surprised when it basically broke the internet. After several rounds of recipe testing (and input from all of our editors), it was confirmed: these might just be the best breakfast ever. What makes them so good? Easy. A trifecta of we ingredients—maple syrup, applesauce, and olive oil—make these perfectly sweet and moist. Without, of course, weighing them down with refined sugar.

Hero Ingredient: 3 whole cups of grated fruit and veg? Like I said, a perfect, healthy-ish morning treat.


Spicy Melon Ricotta Toast

Why We Love It: Our love of toast cannot be stopped. From tomatoes to grated carrots and hummus—we’ve topped it with just about everything. This spicy, melon-topped toast might just be our favorite way to take the girl dinner trend into fall. It combines crunchy, crisp, and creamy textures to keep your mouth engaged with every bite. And that color? Stunning.

Hero Ingredient: We’re calling it: ricotta is the new cottage cheese.

Asian Sesame Chicken Salad

Why We Love It: Some of the easiest summer-to-fall recipes to swap out are salads. I’m saying goodbye to caprese and saying to this Asian sesame chicken salad. It’s bright enough to be a summer dish but hearty enough for fall. And if you’re also upgrading your fall meal prep, consider adding this recipe to your routine. Plus, you’ll want to drizzle this three-ingredient dressing over just about everything.  

Hero Ingredient: Edamame over everything. 

Green & Protein Power Bowl

Why We Love It: I tend to find a way to incorporate sweet potatoes into all of my fall meals, and this power bowl is the perfect transitional way to do that. It’s a Fresa’s copycat meal, and whipping this up for dinner gives me a cozy taste of home every time. 

Hero Ingredient: Always avocado.

Big Green Immunity-Boosting Vegetable Soup

Why We Love It: Yes, I love fall for the cozy vibes, but I also love it for helping me get back on track. I tend to overindulge in the summer, and my body seems to have a natural alarm clock to get back into a routine when fall hits. Hence, summer-to-fall recipes like this immunity-boosting soup become kitchen staples. It’s full of green veggies and herbs that are still fresh from summer, while helping your body fight off fall allergies and colds. What more could you ask for?

Hero Ingredient: Cashews bring the creaminess, without the cream. Can I get a heck yes?


Simple Zucchini Pasta

Why We Love It: I can’t be the only one with a bumper crop of zucchini taking up precious real estate in my fridge. And because I made all the zucchini bread in August, I’m ready for something savory. When Camille dropped this easy weeknight pasta recipe (that’s impressive enough for a weekend dinner party), I knew I’d found the answer. It comes with a short ingredient list and combines comforting and vibrant flavors. Serious: what’s not to love?

Hero Ingredient: I’m making the most of my zucchini while it’s still fresh.

Bacon, Apple, & Sweet Potato Pizza

Why We Love It: Thankfully, pizza is a year-round delight. But I love making it feel like a seasonal dish with my topping choices. This particular combo is one of my favorites to ever come out of Camille’s kitchen and shows off fall flavors in a non-traditional way. Whether you make the dough from scratch or pile the toppings on a store-bought crust, you’ll be dreaming about this pizza long after the last slice is gone. 

Hero Ingredient: You haven’t lived until you’ve tried fried sage on pizza. 

Vegan Red Pepper Pasta with Charred Corn & Basil

Why We Love It: This plant-based recipe comes to us courtesy of Laura Wright, the brilliant vegan recipe creator behind one of our favorite cooking blogs, The First Mess. Like zucchini, corn is abundant this time of year, and we love pairing it with basil for fresh, bright flavor. This pasta is colorful and packs in all the good stuff. A summer-ish salad in pasta form? We’re obsessed.

Hero Ingredient: A little bit of light miso goes a long way in creating delicious, umami flavor.

Crispy Roasted Butternut Squash and Quinoa with Currant Vinaigrette

Why We Love It: This recipe is from Daphne Oz’s new cookbook, Eat Your Heart Out. I can confidently say that once you try it, it will become a permanent staple in your summer to fall recipes repertoire. It’s light enough to enjoy while it’s still hot out, but stars another one of my favorite fall foods: butternut squash. Even if you don’t make this recipe as a whole, Daphne’s tips for making fluffy quinoa and the crispiest butternut squash is worth bookmarking.   

Hero Ingredient: Better be the butternut squash. 

The Best Roast Chicken With Tomatoes, Lemons, & Cilantro Salsa Verde

Why We Love It: There’s something about a roast chicken in the oven that just screams fall. Whether it be the warmth from the oven or the mouthwatering smells, it always makes me think of coming home from school as a kid. This recipe is not only my favorite way to roast chicken in general, but the tomatoes, lemons, and salsa verde give it just enough brightness to make it perfect for this list of summer-to-fall recipes.

Hero Ingredient: This recipe is hands down the best way to use up your tomatoes before they go out of season. 

Zucchini Lasagna With Dairy-Free Mozzarella

Why We Love It: Lasagna is one of my ultimate comfort foods. It’s warm, hearty, and pairs perfectly with a glass of red wine on a cool night. This version has all of the feels of traditional lasagna, with none of the gluten or dairy. So, whether you’re dealing with food allergies or just looking for a healthy meal to get you back on track, I urge you to make a big, cozy serving of this zucchini lasagna. You’ll thank us later. 

Hero Ingredient: The summer zucchini with a fall flare. 

Easy Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup

Why We Love It: Camille mentioned that she brings this soup to friends and family in need, and I’m starting to think that it has magical powers. Whenever I’m craving any sort of comfort, whether it be because I’m sick, exhausted, or missing home, a big batch of this soup seems to do the trick. However, while it’s ultra-comforting, it is still full of summer produce and tangy flavors that make it perfect for the limbo between seasons. 

Hero Ingredient: The corn tortilla strips are undeniably my favorite part. 

Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Yogurt, Herbs, and Everything Spice

Why We Love It: Can you tell I’m hyped up about sweet potato season? I definitely enjoy sweet potato fries all summer, but am so excited for summer-to-fall recipes that make sweet potatoes the star. This recipe is a part of my fall meal rotation that I’ll never get tired of, because I pile on different toppings each and every time. I love the yogurt and herb toppings shown here, but my new go-to has been adding black beans and avocado.

Hero Ingredient: I’m sweet on sweet potatoes. 

Ratatouille-Style Roasted Vegetable Pasta

Why We Love It: This pasta is another one of the summer-to-fall recipes that utilizes summer produce but in a warm, fall way. It’s full of the best of late-summer veggies (eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers), but the almost stew-like consistency of the dish couldn’t be cozier. Pasta is my favorite food all year round, and I can’t wait to add this to my fall rotation. 

Hero Ingredient: Egging on the eggplant. 

Rustic Skillet Tomato Soup

Why We Love It: This tomato soup is like a hug in a bowl. AKA exactly what I’m craving this time of year. It’s a great transitional recipe because the tomatoes will still be fresh and ripe from summer, but the warmth from the soup is perfect for the start of fall. Pair with a grilled cheese and you have yourself the perfect cozy night in. 

Hero Ingredient: Tomato, to-mato. 

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Salsa Verde

Why We Love It: Fall is a great time to restart those Meatless Mondays that you abandoned back in May. This roasted cauliflower is a great option for a side or a main dish, depending on how many you are serving. It’s also a solid transitional recipe because September kicks off cauliflower season, while the salsa verde keeps the dish bright and summery.

Hero Ingredient: Cauliflower power. 


Healthy Oatmeal Cookies with Coconut, Raisins, and Dark Chocolate

Why We Love It: This time of year sees me phasing out my ice cream obsession for cozy, autumnal treats. While you can arguably enjoy these oatmeal cookies all throughout the year (and trust me, I do), they remind me of the sweet after-school snacks my mom would have waiting for me. Nothing makes me crave a cookie like nostalgia.

Hero Ingredient: I love a little crunch in my cookie, and nothing delivers quite like walnuts.

Easy Cinnamon Baked Apples

Why We Love It: While we’re all quick to skip over apple season and head straight into pumpkin mania, it’s time we give the fruit its due. The goal of this recipe is to bring out the apples’ natural sweetness. It achieves this by baking the fruit with a mix of lemon, a little sugar, honey, cinnamon, and a touch of butter. With under 10 ingredients, it’s the perfect weeknight dessert.

Hero Ingredient: Apples all the way.

Why We Love It: You’ve never seen tiramisù like this. While it’s impossible to ever pass up the Italian classic, the famed café, Maman, steps things up by swapping out the ladyfingers with espresso-soaked cookies. This might just be my favorite pairing of desserts ever.

Hero Ingredient: While this tiramisù takes liberties with the traditional recipe, mascarpone is non-negotiable. It adds the perfect tang to offset the other layers of sweetness.

No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

Why We Love It: Who doesn’t love a no-bake dessert? Because there’s still time until pumpkin pie season gets underway, this seemed like the perfect recipe to get our early-fall fix. Because it doesn’t require the oven, these bars blend well with September’s warmer temps. But with ingredients like pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and graham crackers, it’s just enough to satisfy our craving.

Hero Ingredient: You can bet I’ll be doubling up on the pumpkin butter recipe. It’s the perfect accompaniment to my morning toast.

This post was originally published on September 11, 2022, and has since been updated.