Image shows Janell Groskreutz, right, with her guide dog, Sully, a black lab. Janell and Sully are sitting close to each other on the floor and Janell has a bright, beautiful smile on her face. She is pleased to be finished with holiday shopping, eagerly anticipating Christmas Eve when her family opens their presents and she hears excitement and happiness in their reactions. A lighted, fully-decorated Christmas tree sparkles in the background and presents are spread along the hardwood floor, surrounding Sully and Janell.

Christmas Shopping with My Guide Dog, Sully

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season upon us, it’s important to pause and reflect on what is essential in life. In “Christmas Shopping with My Guide Dog, Sully,” Janell Groskreutz attempts to find some last-minute gifts in a hectic mall with the help two loyal and patient companions, Sully and her husband, Kevin. While taking a moment to rest, a stranger reminds her of the valuable bond she shares with Sully.

The image shows a row of colorful cookbooks displayed on a white bookshelf at Annika Konrad’s home. The cookbooks encompass a wide-range of cooking styles, tastes and genres, from Swedish cake-baking to Mediterranean cuisine and it also features classic recipes from Julia Child to innovative cooking techniques from Jamie Oliver. The variety of cookbooks highlight Annika’s joy in discovering new recipes from around the world, along with creative and accessible ways to cook.

Strategies for Fun and Accessible Cooking: Holding onto the Joy of Cookbooks

Cooking is a creative venture for several of The Outlook From Here authors, searching for new recipes, returning to old favorites and discovering handy techniques to make cooking both fun and accessible. In the first of a continuing series, Annika Konrad shares what she enjoys about time spent in the kitchen, along with one of her favorite recipes.