Nine Favorite Things. – Half Baked Harvest

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Welcome to this week’s Nine Favorite Things.

Nine Favorite Things |

(sweet little Chili)

We made it to the last Sunday in April…and shocker it’s still snowing over here. Well, not currently, but I can’t sugar coat it, this week’s weather was just gross. I let it tire me out and bring me down on Wednesday (dark days really affect my energy level and mood), but come Thursday morning I forced myself to have a mind shift regardless of the dark clouds, cold temperatures, and on-off snow. I needed a good day. So I did something different and it made ALL the difference.

The last few months I’ve been working pretty much in silence when in the kitchen cooking and shooting. I was finding that podcasts were too distracting, and music-wise, I just haven’t come across anything that I love. The silence was fine because, to be honest, I talk to my phone and film Instagram stories most of the day anyway. But I knew I needed some new energy this week if I actually wanted to be productive. I remembered reading somewhere that Taylor Swift released a new album on Spotify. I have so much respect for T-Swift and find her so inspiring both as a businesswoman and a creative. However, her more recent music hasn’t been my “vibe” with the exception of a few songs on each album.

I pulled up Spotify anyway, because I didn’t have time to search for new music, and saw Fearless (Taylor’s Version) was the new release. I was confused at first, but then I understood. She re-recorded every song on the album with the addition of six unreleased songs from that time. I’m not a “Swifty”, but this was just what I needed. I knew every song on the album (minus the six new releases), most of them word for word, and was able to listen to the album all the way through. It gave my entire day new energy and focus. Never once did I get tired or overly frustrated with the dark, dark clouds (which provided pretty poor light for photography). Instead, I had a good mindset all day long.

My point here is that that this simple shift in thinking, along with adding something new to my day, really made all the difference. I was even able to carry that positive mind shift on throughout the rest of the week, which felt amazing. So much better than the negative thoughts from the previous week. The moral of the story? If you’re feeling down or need to change your negative thoughts to positives, try switching something up. Even something as little as adding new music to your day, putting on a cute outfit, organizing your desk, getting out for a walk, etc…little shifts can help! It’s easy to let yourself slip into negativity, but once you have a mind shift in a positive direction it will make all the difference. I mean, I’m not an expert, this is just what I know from my own personal experience!

Question: what do you do when you need to find some new energy?

Question: what are you listening to right now? I clearly need some help in the music department!

Anyway, that was pretty much my week in a nutshell. Right now I’m doing a lot of cooking, photography, and attempting to keep up with emails and conference calls in the middle of it all. I stayed home in Colorado while my family traveled to Arizona for Asher’s spring break. I’m a little jealous, but my time for that tropical vacation will come soon. I know it. I will say that Arizona looks incredible and the blooming desert flowers are so unique and pretty (they’ve been sending photos).

Lastly, I have updates for you all on the goat baby front! First, all three little goats are doing so well and at this point, mostly taking care of themselves. We’re still bottle-feeding the two littlest additions to make sure they’re getting enough milk. But they’re running around, happy, healthy, and so cute! We still need names for the two from the last litter, suggestions?

And then Oslo! I feel like you need an update! He’s pretty great. Living his best life in the desert heat at the moment, playing in the pool, soakin’ up the sun, and hanging with my parents, my oldest brother, Creighton, my cousin Abby, and little miss Asher too. He’s so easygoing and almost always got a smile on his face. Watching his curious little eyes wander is my personal favorite.

Coming up this week, I’ll be sharing a mix of Mother’s Day recipes, quick dinners, and simple desserts. If I get time, I would LOVE to share a new cocktail too, but that’s kind of a long shot. In the meantime, I’ll probably just mix up something from the HBH Archive…there are plenty of drinks there now!

Alright, rambling is over, onto this week’s favorites. Enjoy!

1. Things I’m loving, wanting, and excited to try…

watching…the Oscars. what was your favorite movie this past year? I’ve heard incredible things about Hillbilly Elegy via cousin Ethel and am excited to watch it soon.

dreaming of…the Hotel Il Pellicano. This just looks like the prettiest place. Next vacation spot? Fingers crossed.

loving…this pretty dress. so cute for spring and summer. I love the detail on the sides.

listening to…How Megan DiVincenzo Left Her Law Practice To Chase Her New Dream on the Skinny Confidential. If you want a career change or just some motivation, listen to this! I found it even more interesting because Megan is actually from Cleveland. Check out her incredible Jewelry line, The Sis Kiss.

reading…Beekeeping for beginners: An Introduction To The Amazing World Of Bees. We have chicken and goats…horses and bees are next – I hope.

ordered…these Teacups, this set of Gold Flateware, and this Stoneware Jug from Zara Home.

listening to…Emma Grede Founder & Partner Of Good American on the Skinny Confidential. Emma sounds like such a powerhouse in the fashion industry. I loved hearing her story on how she built her way up in her career, and all without a college degree.

watching…The Baker and the Beauty on Netflix. well, I haven’t started it, but honestly, it sounds like just the cheesy kind of Netflix show I could use right now. what are you watching?

ordered….the Cire Trudon X Giambattista Valli Positano candle. Yes, this was certainly a splurge. But geez I’ve been looking for a new spring candle and this one just sounded perfect. Yes, I am aware that I have an issue. I will say, these candles do last, they smell incredible, and always burn down evenly, so you’re not wasting any of the candle. if you need a good Mother’s Day gift, this would be perfect. Also on my list currently is the Rose Poivree candle too.

drinking…blueberry lemon thyme smash…one of my favorite spring cocktails.

wanting to try…the KORA Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturizer. I already love Kora Organics but am very intrigued by this refillable moisturizer. 

2. Spring Berry Recipes

Berry and Cream Cheese Croissant French Toast Bake | #frenchtoast #brunch #easyrecipes #springrecipes #easter

Berry and Cream Cheese Croissant French Toast Bake

Lemon Strawberry Dutch Baby with Ricotta Cream |

Lemon Strawberry Dutch Baby with Ricotta Cream

Baked Blackberry Ricotta French Toast | #breakfast #brunch #easy #recipes

Baked Blackberry Ricotta French Toast

Easy Chocolate Cinnamon Crunch Knots |

Easy Chocolate Cinnamon Crunch Knots

Lemon Sugar Rolls with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing |

Lemon Sugar Rolls with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes | #blueberrypancakes #pancakes #brunch #breakfast #lemon

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Easy Homemade Pretzel Bagels |

Easy Homemade Pretzel Bagels

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast

3. New for the Kitchen for Spring/Summer Picnics…

4. Favorite questions of the week.

q: I love you and your recipes…but I have to know, how do you make money?
a: we have a few revenue streams!

The blog: those ads that you see on the side or at the bottom of the page are our largest source of revenue. We try to keep them to the bare minimum and to make sure they’re not overly annoying. (We appreciate your tolerance with the ads!)

Sponsored content: the branded content you see is another source of income. We’re lucky to be able to work with a lot of incredible brands! But I only work with brands I actually use and whose products I truly believe in.

Cookbooks: the cookbooks are also a source of revenue!

Product lines: we have HBH product coming soon, that is also a revenue source  ?

q: What is you go-to quick dinner that is super easy?
a: my spicy butter chicken! It is so easy and everyone’s favorite!

q: What is your favorite type or food to cook?
a: it’s always changing based on the seasons and what is available to me. I love to cook NEW foods that I haven’t experimented with much. Anything that feels fun, exciting, and different. I get bored really quickly, so cooking fun and different recipes is what I love most. It could be any cuisine, sweet or savory

q: Do you ever binge watch Harry Potter and pig out on popcorn?
a: 100%!!! Harry Potter is what I watch when I need a good comfort-style movie. I swear, I could watch it a million times…but I need to upgrade my movie watching game with popcorn for sure!!

q: How did you get started on this journey?
a: I started cooking for my family back in middle school. I am one of 8, so dinners growing up were chaotic and very late (we’d eat at 9/9:30 pm very often). Eventually, I got tired of the late dinners and eating chicken and rice on repeat. So I started cooking and basically haven’t stopped. Since I was a teenager, I always thought I’d go into the fashion industry and become a stylist. But after a quick stint in LA when I was 18, I changed course and that’s when I started HBH. I never looked back!

q: What is the easiest way to increase your vegetable intake?
a: try to add a vegetable to every meal you make, even if the recipe doesn’t call for it! Bell peppers, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, and cauliflower can all easily be added to most recipes, just toss them in!

q: Weirdest food combo you like?
a: carrots dipped in tomato paste…don’t knock it till ya try it. It’s a favorite for both Asher’s and me!

question for you: what is you weirdest food combo you enjoy?

5. Unique and Special Mother’s Day Gift Ideas.

A Weekend Spent in A Treehouse

Treehouses seem to be the new hotels these days and our longtime close family friends, the Mooneys, own The Mohicans Treehouse Resort and Wedding Venue in Glenmont, Ohio. We’ve stayed at some of their incredible treehouses and each is so unique and cute. It’s such a fun trip to book for that unique experience your mom might never have thought of. 

related reading: 7 New Treehouse Hotels to Add to Your Travel Wishlist

A Day Spent Together Supporting Your Favorite Charity

My mom is the biggest advocate for supporting charities that are near and dear to her. She’s almost always working on something for HBH to be lending a helping hand and financial support. Take a day with your mom to support her favorite local charity or donate to one on her behalf.

Here are a few of our favorites that we support: 

Chrysalis House – A residential treatment center in Maryland for women dealing with addiction. They are different because they allow women to bring their children, very much boosting their success rates. The women can also stay in treatment for up to a year. All funding comes from the state. Donate here.

Special Angels – This is the agency my parents went through to adopt Oslo. So many good things happen through this agency that I don’t even know how to write it in one sentence. This agency places special needs babies with special families. Donate here.

Baby2Baby – provides children living in poverty with diapers, clothing, and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. Donate here.

A Handcrafted, Handwritten Letter

When I was younger, I used to give my mom a handwritten letter and I think it’s something to consider bringing back. Words tend to mean more than gifts, so if you love to write and are a little crafty this is a fun gift. Maybe add some flowers or a candle in her favorite scent.

A Beauty Gift Box with All of Her Favorites…And Some New Items Too

I love putting together gift boxes, but beauty gifts are my favorite.

Personalized Jewelry

You can never go wrong with Jewelry. I love the custom pieces from The Sis Kiss.

related reading: Best Personalized Jewelry Gifts for Women

An Airbnb stay or Weekend trip

My mom is a huge fan of a weekend trip to somewhere she’s never been. Here are some she’s loved over the years!

My 100 Year Old Waco Home – Close to Magnolia – My mom and dad stayed here while waiting for Oslo’s adoption to finalize and LOVED it!

Mountain Shadows Resort, Scottsdale – My parents and some of my siblings are loving their stay here in Scottsdale…their huge patio backs right up to the pool!

Palm Springs – They used this rental company for a quick stay after the family wedding in Julian. They loved the house and the rental company.

The Grand Lodges, Government Camp, Mount Hood, OR – This was our summer spot when Red was younger training at Mount Hood. If you go, be sure to also check out The Timberline Lodge – very cool and so much history here (and also where The Shining was filmed!).

The Little Nell – Aspen, CO – the cutest hotel in Aspen in my opinion.

Best Western Plus – Moab is gorgeous! And this is pretty nice for an affordable price.

related reading: 17 Airbnbs That Belong in a Nancy Meyers Movie

6. Meet Hailey’s Sweet Puppy Chili + Family Photos.

Hailey, my brother Red girlfriends just adopted a new puppy. His name is Chili. She’s a Novia Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and he is ADORABLE. Now I want a puppy…

(Chili really loves Red)

some photos from Arizona 

(told you, Oslo has really grown!)

(Oslo and my cousin Abby)

Nine Favorite Things |

(mom and Oslo)

Nine Favorite Things |

(Arizona is so pretty)

(my oldest brother Creighton and Asher)

7. Favorite Links I’m Loving…

What I Buy From Trader Joe’s When I Want to Have a Healthy Week…so new things to try.

This Is How to Organize Your Fridge (and maintain your sanity)…love these tip/tricks.

The Best Fire Pits for Giving Your Outdoor Space the Ultimate Glow Up…backyard season is almost here.

The Best Black Swimsuits…so many cute ones. Love this one especially.

5 Apps That Identify Your Plants and Help You Save Them From the Brink of Death….love these app.

8 Easy Ways To Be Happier Right Now…such simple, doable tips that make all the difference.

All Hail, The Affordable Green Smoothie…gotta get those greens in.

15 Fun Games to Play When You’re Bored and Looking for Something to many new ones to try.

8. Cute, but Casual For Spring…

9. This week’s dinners + weekend eats…

Spinach and Artichoke Pizza with Cheesy Bread Crust |

Monday: Spinach and Artichoke Pizza with Cheesy Bread Crust

Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauce |

Tuesday: Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauce

20 Minute Red Curry Noodles with Fried Coconut Garlic |

Wednesday: 20 Minute Red Curry Noodles with Fried Coconut Garlic

Lebanese Chicken with Charred Lemon Cauliflower |

Thursday: Lebanese Chicken with Charred Lemon Cauliflower

Coconut Popcorn Chicken with Sweet Thai Chili Lime Sauce |

Friday: Coconut Popcorn Chicken with Sweet Thai Chili Lime Sauce

Saturday: Deep Dish Molten Chocolate Coffee Blondies

Flaky Southern Butter Biscuits with Strawberry Bourbon Jam |

Sunday: Flaky Southern Butter Biscuits with Strawberry Bourbon Jam


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