rThanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post!

Nine Favorite Things | halfbakedharvest.com

Hi, hi! Hope you guys are all staying warm and cozied up this weekend! I know many of us are dealing with fridged temps right now. All the more reason to stay warm inside and bake up a little cake…I mean, right? Yes, yes, let’s bake!

This week has been bizarre weather-wise for so many across the US. Nothing unusual here in Colorado, but for states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi that rarely see sub-zero temps and days of snow, it’s been a crazy and scary week. Since so many are struggling and working to get back to normal, I wanted to share an easy way to help if you are able.

Baby2Baby provides children living in poverty with diapers, clothing, and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. Their Disaster Relief program has blankets, warm socks, winter coats, hats, diapers, wipes, soap, formula, and more all on the way to children severely impacted by the winter storms. If you’re able, you can donate here. I understand that not all of us have the means to give right now. But I want to try and highlight causes that are doing so much good and giving back. Baby2Baby is an organization that we love to support.

Switching gears a bit now. if you guys follow along on Instagram, you might have seen a story featuring my older brother, Creighton go up on Friday night. Creigh has been here in Colorado since March. He’s working from home like everyone else, so he figured why not spend the time closer to everyone in CO. The thing about Creigh is that he LOVES food more than anyone. I can’t say it’s all particularly good food, but regardless, he loves to eat and he can be pretty fun to cook for.

One day last weekend I had to work on the computer all day. So when he stopped into the studio for his daily, “sooo, what did you make today”, visit, he was pretty bummed to find me not cooking a thing. He said that all I’d made all week was soup and it was lame. And then somehow, that turned into a very passionate conversation about Taco Bell and his favorite taco of all the time, The Cheesy Gordita CRUNCH. There was so much excitement and legitimate passion coming from him that clearly, I had to share his excitement on IG. What was shocking to me was just how many of you loved the story…and that Cheesy Gordita Crunch taco. There was so much excitement that I created the recipe at home and shared it first thing Monday AM.

And you know something? I have to say, it is a delicious taco. But all this excitement got me thinking. One, I clearly need to feature Creighton and all his rants more often, because it was pretty obvious that everyone greatly enjoyed the laugh. And two, I wonder what other restaurant favorites are on everyone’s lists? Living where we live, we really don’t go out to eat very often. So I’d love to hear what you guys like to order? Should I do more restaurant-style remakes? Let me know your favorites!

Oh! And do you guys remember last week how I was looking for a new desk lamp? Well, I found two that I LOVE. Of course, they’re not available to ship until April and May…and they’re also a little pricier. But I think they are gorgeous! Should I bite the bullet and order them? I do feel like they could be nice statement pieces that I would have for a while. I love the look of this one for my desk. And then this one I’d really love for a console table in the entryway of the studio. I’m not crazy, they’re pretty cool, right?

In other news, while this week was actually pretty good, I got hit with some “unsettlingly” emails on Wednesday. They threw me off the entire day and even into Thursday. I’m 100% over it now. But I will say that it makes me sad to see how much negativity and hate takes place in our world today.

I know I’ve chatted about this in a Favorite’s post before, so I won’t go into any real detail. But I think when times are stressful and uncertain it’s all the more reason to really go above and beyond to be kind and think of others. Before you try to tear someone down for no reason at all, stop and think about why you’re doing that. Just try changing your mindset and doing something positive instead. Bake someone cookies, send flowers or a candle, or shovel someone’s steps. I really think it’s going to make you feel 110% happier inside.

Tearing others down doesn’t get you anywhere, it just worsens your mindset. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there, and I still slip up. But as cheesy as it sounds, kindness and giving back is KEY. Ok, that’s all!

Lastly, some very happy and exciting family news…little brother Oslo’s adoption will be FINAL tomorrow! While it’s felt final since day one, I know my mom is relieved and excited. My parents went through what seemed like every hurdle possible to adopt over the last three years and while we all believe that every step happened for a reason, it was still an emotional roller coaster. Finalizing everything just gives everyone a little sense of relief. We can’t imagine the fam without Oslo now!

Here are some photos to hopefully give you all a smile today. He is getting so big!

Coming up this week, I’ll be sharing everyone’s favorite Chinese-inspired takeout dinner, but made at home and healthier. A new breakfast recipe that’s perfect for cold winter mornings and early spring days. On Wednesday I have a fun twist on one of my favorite childhood foods. Then we’ll move onto a crazy easy, but delicious pasta. And for Friday, something heavy on the chocolate! Very excited about each recipe!

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

loving…my Tulip Magnolia Branches. They are starting to blossom and are SO PRETTY!

watching…Beauty Secrets with Kendall Jenner. I love these Vogue videos so much. I know nothing about applying makeup, so I actually learn a lot from them

loving…my Chunky Chain Necklace. I’ve been wearing this so much! Also, I love this more affordable version. And this one too!

thinking about ordering…Blue Light Glasses. If I’m not cooking/shooting, I’m looking at a screen. Wondering if blue light glasses are worth it. Does anyone use them? This pair is simple but cute!

loving…this Chanel 19 Large Flap Bag. I would never splurge on this, nor do I have anywhere to carry it. BUT I sure do appreciate its fun design.

loving…Beis Baby Bag. Or I should say my mom is. She’s obsessed with this bag, she loves the wide mouth opening. New moms check it out, she has the backpack. And I LOVE the mini work tote.

ordered…QUAI Treatment Hair Mask. My hair has been so, so, so dry. And it greatly needs a cut, but I’m excited to try this and see if it helps!

thinking about ordering…this Puffer Vest from Zara. I love the look of a vest, but I never seem to have the right time to wear it.

loving…my Alice and Olivia Cashmere sweater. I only have a few cashmere sweaters, but this is so soft and I love the fun blue color. I also found a couple more affordable options from & Other Stories that are very similar. Also loving their cashmere scarf and beanie.

watching…Letters to Juliet. A movie suggestion from HBH reader Colleen last week…Asher, my mom, and I thought it was so cute!

loving…these Williams Sonoma Goldtouch baking sheets. I use them every day.

2. A Few of My Favorite Cocktails To Mix Up Soon…

Dirty Horchata | halfbakedharvest.com

Dirty Horchata

Spicy Cucumber Margarita | halfbakedharvest.com

Spicy Cucumber Margarita

Frothy Whipped Coffee White Russian | halfbakedharvest.com

Frothy Whipped Coffee White Russian

The Hermione Granger Cocktail | halfbakedharvest.com

The Hermione Granger Cocktail

Blueberry Lemon Thyme Smash | halfbakedharvest.com

Blueberry Lemon Thyme Smash

Fiery Golden Mango Tonic | halfbakedharvest.com

Fiery Golden Mango Tonic

3. New For the Spring Kitchen…

4. Favorite Questions Of The Week…

q: Did you enjoy school?
a: No I actually hated school and had a ton of anxiety growing up. It was just never my thing. I hated being in a classroom all day long and never felt comfortable at school. When I started high school, I took college courses for high school credit and graduated early with an Associate’s Degree. That’s when I started HBH.

Throughout middle school and high school are when I grew my love of cooking. I’d cook for my family after school and used cooking as a creative release. I had a lot of fun playing around with new recipes. I cooked pretty much every night and I swear it got me through high school.

q: I saw you went to school in LA for fashion! Wondering if that school was FIDM?
a: It was! But I never started. I lived in LA a few months, then decided it wasn’t what I wanted. After LA is when I started HBH. That was the summer after I graduated from high school. Our first blog post was in October 2012

I think FIDM would have been an amazing school though. I sometimes wonder “what if”. But in the end, I LOVE what I’m doing so much. Now I style food instead of clothes. Haha. But I’ve been getting back into clothes more and more these days. I love any kind of styling/design. I’m always trying to make everything around me pretty.

q: I want to know what lotion you use? I am in NYC and it is so drying on my face.
a: I swear by Vintner’s Daughter Serum. And then I layer on Augustinus Bader the Rich Cream. The two together work like magic. These are on the pricy side, but I think they’re worth it. I also LOVE using Biossance Vitamin C + Rose Oil and Repair Cream. And another favorite is the Mutha Face Oil.

q: How did you learn to create recipes of your own?
a: Mostly through trial and error. I’m such a visual person, I learn so much more by doing versus reading. I need to try things, then adjust.

q: Was cooking always a big part of your family life growing up?
a: No! Not at all. As my dad puts it, he cooked to “survive”. Aka get food on the table and feed the fam. It was always very basic, but still good! My dad is a great cook, he just didn’t ever try too hard in the kitchen. Cooking wasn’t something anyone in my family was very into. Though my mom has always loved to bake!

q: How long did it take you to hit 50K page views per month?
a: I have no idea. I’ve never kept track of the numbers. That’s always been something that’s stressed me out, so I just don’t pay attention. Instead, I focused/focus on creating the best content I can. I am a firm believer that good content always rules.

5. Learning Through Podcasts.

I know I talk about my favorite podcasts all the time. But lately, I’ve been enjoying listening to podcasts more than ever before. I’ve had to stop listening while working, as I found them to be too distracting. I’m now squeezing them into times when I really don’t need to be using my brain. So, for example, I’ll listen at night once I get home from the studio while getting dinner together. Or maybe while doing daily house chores. Or even while putting on make-up, or taking an afternoon walk. Basically, I’m just squeezing in a few minutes here and there, but I am loving learning. With a little more focus, I’ve been able to actually take in more from each podcast instead of just kind of half-listening. And I am really enjoying it!

This isn’t something I used to say about myself, but I’m finding that I really love learning, and learning from others. I love to listen to podcasts with business founders, athletes, and anyone who has a story to tell, whether I feel like I can fully relate or not. Filling my headspace with inspiring knowledge has really been a new source of inspiration for me.

Here are some recent favorites I’ve really enjoyed…

Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent | More Than One Thing with Athena Calderone – actually in the middle of this, but love it so far.

Maria Sharapova: Founder and CEO of Sugarpova and Former Professional Tennis Player – enjoyed this for a motivational kick.

Jen Atkin on Say Yes To The Dress – always love listening to Jen. Her business and life perspective are so good.

CEO and Serial Entrepreneur Katherine Power’s Life With Marianna – loved learning about how Katherine built her multiple brands.

The Joe Rogan Experience with Miley Cyrus – my dad got me onto this podcast. While I have only listened to this episode, I really enjoyed it. I’m not a big Miley Cyrus fan but actually was able to relate to this in a lot of ways. I enjoyed hearing about what it was like growing up in the way that she did.

Question: do you listen to The Joe Rogan Experience? He has SO MANY episodes, where should I start?

How India Oxenberg Survived Life Inside A Sex Cult – I didn’t expect to be interested in this, but actually found it to be incredibly interesting…and honestly, mind boggling.

Celebrating the GOAT GOD– shockingly I’m really enjoying learning about Tom Brady and his career. He’s got a pretty incredible perspective on life.

LG QUICKIE: Meet Our Galentine’s – just for fun or if you need a break from life for a minute.

Melissa Wood-Tepperberg on Half Naked Podcast – I have not listened to this yet, but I’m looking forward to it next chance I get.

Question: I’m curious, what podcast do you listen to and love?

6. Inspiring Me This Week.

(above photo via our Pinterest Flower board)

(photo above via our Pinterest Home board)

(above photo via our Pinterest Inspiring Quotes board)

(photo above via our Pinterest Flower board)

(above photo via our Pinterest Home board)

(photo above via our Pinterest Inspiring Quotes board)

(above photo via our Pinterest Home board)

7. Favorite Links I’m Loving…

The Best Interior Design Accounts on Instagram…for new inspiration.

31 Stylish Kitchen Products From Target That Reviewers Also Find Incredibly Useful…wow, I was shocked and honored to have the HBH Cookbooks on this list.

Best Everyday Leggings…I live in my Alo leggings right now.

Inside a Tucked-Away Rural Hawaiian Retreat…oh how I would love to stay here.

6 Makeup Cheat Codes That Make You Look 10 Times Better in Photos…loving these easy tips.

People Are Sharing Their Favorite Everyday Life Hacks..and I’m taking notes.

Step Inside Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West’s Boundary-Defying Home…wow, it’s very, very minimalist.

16 Small-Space Desks That’ll Fit Just About Anywhere…if you want to upgrade your WFH set up.

Small RH desk in Asher’s room…her room is pretty adorable.

How to Start a Fireplace Fire (& Keep It Going All Night)…things you need to know.

50 Amazing Life Hacks to Make Life Easier…so many good ones…still taking notes.

8 Virtual Interview Tips to Help You Land the Job, According to the Experts…good things to know.

This Target Décor Looks Expensive But It’s All Under $100…love, love a good Target find.

H&M New Arrivals Spring 2021…this yellow hoodie and fluffy shorts are currently in my cart.

5 Mindful Ways To Handle Anxiety While Working From Home…I love all of the ideas, but I’m interested in exploring meditation.

8 Methods for Popping Popcorn and the Winner Is a Delightful Throwback…my mom is all about old-fashioned, whirley popped popcorn.

The Spring Accessories and Jewelry to Buy Now…what’s on your must-have list?

40 Vegetarian And Pescatarian Recipes…for anyone cutting back on meat.

The Kitchen Trend Designers Love…would you try this trend?

Want to Try Intuitive Eating…some tips to help you start.

Make Life Beautiful With Kaleb Wyse…a fun Sunday read.

8. New and Affordable Style Finds…

9. This Weeks Dinners.

Homemade Cheesy Gordita Crunch Tacos | halfbakedharvest.com

Monday: Homemade Cheesy Gordita Crunch Tacos

Tuesday: Sheet Pan Sticky Gochujang Chicken Meatballs

Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Chili Oil | halfbakedharvest.com

Wednesday: Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Chili Oil

Better Than Takeout Szechuan Noodles with Sesame Chili Oil | halfbakedharvest.com #easyrecipes #chinesenoodles #asian

Thursday: Szechuan Noodles with Sesame Chili Oil

Friday: Pesto Pizza with Feta Stuffed Crust

Earl Grey Blueberry Lemon Cake | halfbakedharvest.com

Saturday: Earl Grey Blueberry Lemon Cake

Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

Sunday: Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting