Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post.
(coneflowers around the yard)
Happy Sunday! Hoping you all had a great July 4th and were able to celebrate with family and/or friends. I ended up spending the day inside as we had in-and-out thunderstorms most of the day. But it’s OK, I took the time indoors to play a little catch up on some home projects, and to get myself ahead and prepared for the week ahead. I love a busy Saturday and ending the weekend feeling ready for the new week ahead.
With the long holiday weekend, I took some of this “extra” time off to finally get into a couple of home “to-dos” I’ve been wanting to check off my list for what feels like ages now. I recently ordered a few new vases and it’s really inspired me to create a more welcoming home environment, both in my personal home and our studio workspace. I’m beginning to learn that even adding the simplest touches like a few candles, unique vases, or pretty baskets around a space immediately warms it up and creates a welcoming, homey feel, which I love. And of course, flowers are always a welcoming touch too. You can never have too many flowers.
And I am now feeling inspired to tackle so many new home and home decor projects (see below). Shifting my focus just slightly the last few days has been a much-needed break for me. I’ve even been taking time at the end of the day for an evening walk around our neighborhood, which is my absolute favorite thing to do in the summer. The sun peeking through the green trees and setting over the mountains is just the most beautiful scene. Couple that with a warm summer breeze…sometimes seems like it’s straight out of a movie. Lucky for me, it’s real life. Yep, soaking up these summer evenings while we have them, they come and go so quickly.
And in other news, today is my older brother Creighton’s birthday. Not sure how everyone is planning to celebrate, but I can guarantee you that there will be lots of fun, laughs, and good food enjoyed. The perfect way to round-out to the long weekend.
Question: what has been the highlight of your family’s July 4th weekend? I’d love to hear what you’ve all been up to!
Coming up this week on HBH, we’re continuing on with simple summer recipes and sharing out a few new favorites. Monday’s recipe is my personal favorite of the week. Then on Tuesday, we’ll have something icy cold and sweet. Then on to a fun new grilled cheese that will be coming your way. And finally, we’ll round out the week with a summer berry recipe.
If you’re catching up on blog posts from the week, be sure to sign up for our daily newsletters. They’ll help you to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here, as well as fun content you’ll only get via email. If you’re meal planning today, don’t forget to check out my menu below (it’s # 9 on the favorite’s list). You can grab the full grocery list for this week’s menu in our special Sunday newsletter.
1. Summer Garden Inspiration.
(freshly picked flowers and herbs)
One of the things I’m enjoying most about summer is our garden. Ok fine, greenhouse, but I love using the word garden. Right now it’s flourishing with fresh basil, thyme, chives, cilantro, dill, oregano mint, sage, rosemary, kale, lavender, and chamomile. We have so many herbs in our garden that we really need more space. We have plenty of land for this, so I’ve been dreaming big for next year’s garden. My dream is to have something like Joanna Gaines, but the reality is we can’t have an outdoor garden here in the mountains. It’s just too cold at night. So while I’m using her garden as inspiration, I’m also plotting out a new greenhouse. Ideally, I’d like to be able to grow even more herbs, edible flowers, and heartier vegetables. Ones that can thrive in our environment.
Additionally, I’d like to have flower beds full of heartier “mountain” flowers. Flowers like Coneflowers, Russian Sage, Poppy Mallow, Daisy’s, Pansies, and Lavender, all of which are already growing around the property. I just want beds FULL of them. Picture something like the picture below, but with the flowers I’ve listed above…
Let’s just say my dad…the official “HBH handyman”…has some work cut out for him. Don’t worry dad, I have confidence in you!
And lastly, lilacs! We have three large lilac trees that bloom around this time of year, dependent on the weather. We had late snow in early June and sadly, our white tree didn’t bloom at all. Our two purple bushes bloomed, but not well. I got a few branches (which I photographed with the blackberry scones, raspberry brioche rolls, and Buckeye crunch bars), but not many. Hoping next year’s season will be better! If anyone has tips on protecting their lilac bushes from cold weather, please, do share with me!
So those are my thoughts on next year’s garden (because it’s a little too late for this year). I’d love to hear tips from you guys. Do any of you have suggestions on what we can grow in our rocky mountain climate?
Here are all the photos, accounts, and cute gardening “tools” that have inspired my new found love for growing everything I can.
All the gardening tools and vases I love most…
Instagram Accounts I am following…
@yolorenzo for the prettiest upstate New York scenes.
@velvetandlinen her garden and farm are beautiful…love her shop too.
A few of my favorite The Little Market Garden Baskets…
I use this one a lot for produce.
This one I carry daily from home to the studio and back home again.
The perfect farmers market bag. I need this one.
One of my favorite baskets we have in the studio, I love filling it with flowers.
The two flower books I love…
And what I’m reading online…
The Gardening Roundup on Studio McGee.
Top 10 Gardening Tips for Beginners on Wit and Delight.
From the Garden Recipes on Gal Meets Glam.
And lastly, all the Pinterest photos helping me dream…
Sources unknown, but all found via Pinterest. Please let me know if you happen to know the exact sources, but the garden featured is Joanna Gaines garden.
2. My Two Favorite Recipes to Make in July…
Best summer dinner for using up garden basil and zucchini.
Best simple summer dessert. Use any berries you have on hand and enjoy with ice cream!
PS. In case you missed it, we shared The 30 Most Popular EASY Summer Recipes…if you’re in need of ideas.
3. The Summer Table with Skye McAlpine x Anthro…
4. Favorite Questions of the Week…
q: Non-food related, but what mascara do you use? Your eyelashes always look so good!
a: I love Saie Beauty mascara so much. It one of the only clean beauty mascaras that I’ve found that really works
q: How did you learn to make you plating look so amazing?
a: It has taken a lot of years and a lot of practice and I’m still not the BEST at it. Plating is a part of how I develop recipes. Recipes come together visually in my head before I even start testing them. I am SO visual. Don’t gimme words, gimme a photo and I’m happy! Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved more than anything making things look “pretty”. As a teen, I’d style clothes and always thought I’d go into fashion, but now I just put that creativity into my food styling…and I love it even more!
q: Random, but have you ever wanted to be on a cooking competition show?
a: Nope! Never! Competition shows are not for me. I’m already way too competitive with myself. Don’t need to add others into the mix too.
q: Do you play music while you cook/bake?
a: Most of the time it’s music or a podcast, but when I really have to focus it’s neither because I can get distracted, especially when I have podcasts playing.
5. Latest Recipe Videos.
Greek Chicken Chopped Salad…current favorite summer dinner.
And on Instagram stories…
Grilled Chicken Shawarma with Golden Butter Fries and Garlic Sauce…this one is ALL the things.
Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Hot Bacon Vinaigrette…Beyond. Good.
Lavender Lemon Sugar Cookies…my favorite (non-chocolate) cookie.
Melon Basil Salad with Crispy Prosciutto…summer in a salad with double the burrata.
Salted Spicy Watermelon Margarita Popsicle…boozy frozen tequila pops. These are fun!
6. Things I’m Loving, Wanting, and Excited to Try…
loving…more than anything, my morning hikes and if I can get them in, evening walks.
loving with…my lavender lemon sugar cookies. Has anyone made them? Please do!
loving…these shorts. They’ve been sold out everywhere, but I finally found them.
watching…Jingle in July. I know, I know…but I can’t resist a good Hallmark Christmas movie.
loving…Joanna Gaines kitchen for her upcoming cooking show. LOVE this space.
scrolling…BLK + GRN. An all-natural market place by all Black artisans.
loving…the baseball hat trend. All about a low messy bun + cute hat for easy summer days.
7. Favorite Links I’m Loving…
6 Techniques to Reduce Stress…love these techniques so much, especially #2.
Throw a Chic Summer Party…with help from an event planner
From Ally to Accomplice…how to support black women at work.
12 Home Decor and Furniture Sales to Shop Over the Long Weekend…all about this Lulu and Georgia sale.
This New Platform Makes the Decorating Process 100% More Organized…what a cool idea.
Inside a Family’s Cozy West Village Townhouse…awe, I love this space in the middle of the city.
Easy Braid Tutorials to Upgrade Your Summer Style…love these simple summer styles.
How to Build a Brand Through Storytelling on Social Media…storytelling has been key for us.
Inside a Country Retreat and Tranquil City Home…not really my style, but still so pretty and unique.
There’s No Secret Recipe for Restoring Wallpaper…but this approach is close.
30 Books That Should Be on Your Summer Reading List…which is your pick?
How to Make Your Current Job Your Dream Job…if you’re feeling stuck.
The Bachelorette Resumes Production…I’ve never watched the Bachelorette, but should I?
An Exclusive Look Inside Kendra Scott’s Jaw-Dropping Austin HQ…what a unique and inspiring office space.
Get “Unready” with Chriselle Lim…love an “unready” video and learning new beauty secrets.
16 Summer Grilling Recipes…yummm, these all sound delicious.
10 Two-Minute Habits That Will Change Your Life…especially love #5 and #7.
Curious About Freezing Your Eggs…here’s what you should know.
3 Types of Negative Mindsets That Can Cause Harm…and how to overcome them.
Herbs to Boost Your Immune System…if you’re looking to bulk up your immune system.
8. Affordable Summer Pieces from & Other Stories…
9. This Week’s Dinners…
Saturday Snacks: Pan-Fried Feta with Peppered Honey
Finally, check out all the past Nine Favorite Things posts here.