Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post.
Happy New Year!! Hoping you guys all had a fun New Year’s Eve and are still making the most of this long holiday weekend. How nice is it that New Years’ fell on a Friday this year? The long weekend has been so great for catching up and preparing for the first full week of January. Something about January always feels new and exciting. Plus I always look forward to our fresh Healthy January recipes…they bring with them so much color!
I will say that tomorrow is going to be bittersweet. With the holidays behind us, the beginning of January can always be a little sad. The good news is that we actually have a lot to look forward to this month! We’ve got recipes focused a bit more on health, the days are slowly getting longer, the Super Bowl is the first week of February, followed by Valentine’s Day, and then my cousin’s wedding in March!
My family all went snowmobiling on New Year’s Eve, then we spent the night at home. It was super low key…I was in my PJ’s by ten. I ended up talking to Asher for a full hour, just the two of us. Twas’ actually so perfect. We plotted out my mom’s birthday and our delayed “Christmas Day”…which at this point is going to be a wintery girl’s day with Christmas movies (she’s very adamant we watch all the movies).
On New Year’s Day, I tested out a new recipe for the coming week (it’s a fun one). I also made a pot of my slow cooker Creamy Tortellini Vegetable Soup, and at the very last minute…made a big pot of Chili and two loaves of Beer Bread. My mom has been dying for a good pot of chili for weeks, so I finally decided to make some for the whole crew. Mom will only eat chili Cincinnati style, over angel hair pasta with lots and lots of cheddar cheese on top. I love any chili, but Cincinnati style will always be the best. Complete comfort food.
And then, I started in on writing this post. I’m aiming to get my head back above water before the New Year craziness sets in.
How about you all? I’m pretty sure everyone is excited for 2021. I know this past year was hard, but there were silver linings in 2020 (like little Oslo). Many people had more time to focus on taking up something they’ve always wanted to do, or spend more time doing something they love. Like cooking and baking!
People took up cooking like never before. We heard from so many of you who said that cooking/baking was such a savior for them in 2020. Baking with kids, sharing a group chat with friends about recipes, and attempting new dishes. It was all amazing to see. A true silver lining in a very weird year.
Question: What did you love most about 2020? Tell me one thing!! For me, it was sharing recipes with you all and being able to watch so many of you make them daily. And also, more time at home and more time with family.
Anything you’re looking forward to in the coming year? It can be hard to transition from holiday mode back to real life. But as always I hope HBH can be a bright spot in everyone’s day and fill your homes (and families) with even more delicious food than in previous years!
In case you missed it, this past week I shared the 25 most popular recipes of 2020…as picked by all of you. These are the recipes that you guys made the most over the past year. I’m so excited that the number one and two recipes were my family’s favorites too! In addition, I shared all of my Favorite Healthier Recipes to help kick off the New Year and provide lots and lots of recipe inspiration.
Coming up this week on HBH, we’ll be starting the week off with a warming Indian inspired recipe with a little Thai twist thrown in. Then, something sweeter for Tuesday to bake up on cold winter days. On Wednesday we’ve got a “better than take-out” style recipe, followed by a quick chicken dinner on Thursday. And for Friday…honestly? I have no idea what Friday will be. Probably something chocolatey, because even though it’s January, we all still need chocolate in our lives.
1. Things I’m loving, wanting, and excited to try…
watching…Harry Styles – Treat People With Kindness. I’m not usually a huge Harry Style’s fan, but I kind of love this video. The message…old school vibes, and happiness. It’s just what we all need.
living in…my Entireworld Sweatshirt. I got this back in December and have worn it every other day since. It’s So comfy and perfect for long cooking days.
ordered…the Ugg Classic Ultra Mini Boots. Got these for my mom for Christmas and I can’t wait for them to get here. They were on backorder all December, but finally shipped! So excited for her to get these, I think she’ll love them for wearing around the house. And honestly, I might need a pair too!
listening to…The Lady Gang. Their Best of the Year episode is full of TV shows, movies, products, and music they loved from 2020. Love this episode!
ordered…so many Edible Flowers/Herbs. These are my favorite come winter days. They add so much happiness and color to just about any food.
living in…my & Other Stories Hoodie. Lots of loungewear these days, but this is such a cozy weekend hoodie for around the house or running errands.
wanting to watch…Bridgerton. Have you seen it? I feel like everyone is talking about this show this week.
living in…these Pointe Studio Cotten Socks. I never used to have nice socks, but these have converted me for good. So warm, breathable, and comfortable. Plus cute!
always cooking with…my Staub 11 inch skillet. It’s by far my most used skillet.
loving…Martha Hunt’s wintery look. Simple, but still cozy. I love the fun pop of color the boots add.
listening to…Daphne Oz on More Than One Thing podcast. Loved learning more about Daphne and I can relate to so much of her story.
reading…Jennifer Aniston’s Architectural Digest Story. This is from 2018, so it’s old, but scroll through the photos of her house at the time. It’s so pretty. I love that moody bathroom.
burning…Boy Smells Broken Rosary Holiday Rituals Candle. It doesn’t smell like the holidays to me, but it is the perfect cozy winter candle.
ordered…Diptyque Vanille Mini Candle. So excited to try the Vanille scent, but wishing it was a larger candle.
wanting to order…the Benjoin Candle. I just discovered this scent while grabbing the link for the Vanille. It sounds incredible and yes, I have a candle obsession.
2. The Most Popular Recipes of December.
Most popular: Frosted Mistletoe Margarita
Wow. I didn’t know a drink could be so popular. I only shared this the Sunday before Christmas and within that week, SO MANY of you guys made this. It’s so funny, I just never know what makes a recipe so popular and what makes them just ok. So often the ones I’m expecting to flop, end up being your favorites…though I do LOVE this drink too. I know Christmas is over, but this is a great winter margarita to make. It’s always delicious with pomegranate juice too!
Runner-up: Spicy Pesto Pasta Alla Vodka
YEAH! For once we’re all on the same page here. Oh, how I love this pasta. It’s the easiest to make and one of those recipes that everyone truly loves. The secret? Basil pesto and plenty of cheese on top. My one tip? Serve this with a side of garlic bread. Nothing is better.
Also have to mention: Easy Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls
If you didn’t get to make these over Christmas, you’ve got to make them this month. They’re perfect…buttery, soft, and fluffy. They’ve got cinnamon sugar and are frosted generously with vanilla spiced frosting.
Ok. Last one: Creamy Balsamic Mushroom Chicken Marsala
This was the 4th most popular recipe, but so close behind those cinnamon rolls. Have to mention it because it’s the perfect winter dinner. The balsamic mushrooms and creamy sauce are everything delicious.
3. All my 2020 Skincare FAVORITES…
These are the products I have been alternating between for the last year. I love each and every single product. I feel like I’m talking about them all the time. But my skin really has changed since I began using less products and more of the same really great products on repeat. These are my most used of 2020.
4. Favorite Questions of the Week.
q: Best dinner to impress a date?
a: Spicy pesto pasta Alla vodka with a side of homemade garlic bread (I clearly love these two recipes). Honestly, nothing is better. If they love meat, go the extra mile and make meatballs too. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with a really good chocolate chip cookie…browning your butter will make them so much better. Or that molten chocolate crackle pie I shared.
q: Are you from Cleveland or just luckily a Browns fan?
a: We’re from Cleveland, but my family moved to Colorado when I was in 8th grade. All of our extended family still lives in Cleveland, so we go back to visit all the time. Still feels like home when we’re there.
q: What are your goals/intentions for 2021? Food show perhaps?!
a: Haha! Yes! That’s been on my dream list for a while. Who knows, maybe 2021 is the year!?! But aside from that, I have a list of so many things I’d love to accomplish this year. Finishing that big project that currently feels very overwhelming, working on HBH product (so excited!), that TV show, and more than anything learning to manage my time and our small team better. I’m horrible at delegating, but I really need to get better at it. I need to delegate the tasks that don’t require my attention so I can focus on the things that really do. Like creating new content for you guys! It’s hard! I would also LOVE to be more organized this year!
q: Do you ever want to get married?
a: Yes!!! But I don’t think any time real soon. I don’t feel like I’m in any hurry and I’m loving the place I’m at in life right now. I feel like that will happen when the time is right, so not stressing about it.
q: If you HAD to have fast food, what would it be?
a: I’m not sure if this is considered fast food or not, but I remember the fries from Penn Station back in Ohio being pretty darn delicious. And then, a DQ blizzard for sure…I’d get Reese’s peanut butter cup or cookie dough.
5. Weekly Goals.
I’m not a resolutions person at all, but I love setting goals and I have so many things I’d love to accomplish this year, both little and big.
I say this every January, but I think weekly goals feel so much more doable, exciting, and so much less daunting. I love the idea of coming to the end of the week with two to three solid goals checked off my list. Weekly goals challenge me to hold myself accountable and I kind of love that.
My goals for the week ahead:
1. Spend two days this week working on a project with a deadline that is fastly approaching.
2. Take more time at night for me…this will be hard, but even if I can squeeze in ten minutes, that will be an improvement.
3. STRECH! This might be my biggest goal, but I need to stretch for a few minutes every day. It’s so important and I feel how tight my legs are after hiking. Thinking of trying a Melissa Wood Health yoga sculpt. Do any of you follow her routines?
Question: What are your New Years’ goals? Big? Small? Are they personal goals or work-related?
6. Favorite Wintery Photos from Christmas Break.
Asher and Oslo
Mom, Dad + Oslo
Mom, Oslo + Merle
Red and Oslo
Just Oslo…all bundled up
Asher and Oslo
Abby and Oslo
7. Favorite links I’m loving…
Joanna Gaines Opens the Door to Her Family Farmhouse…to be expected, the prettiest, coziest family home.
The Best Sweet and Savory Breakfast Recipes…for all the upcoming weekend brunching.
How To Shape the Perfect Brow…I love a good thick eyebrow and these tips are so good.
5 Tips to Have the Most Productive Day Ever…absolutely love these tips.
2021 Beauty Capsule…all the products you need this year.
23 Dinner Ideas For Anyone Trying To Eat More Veggies In 2021…yum, these all sound so good!
50 Things You Can Do to Be Healthier and Happier in 2021…love so many of these.
13 Ways to Cleanse Your Life…if you’re looking for a New Years’ refresh.
7 Renovation Trends to Look Out For in 2021…I’m currently all about making the coziest home space.
Beauty Products Organization…how to finally get organized.
These Home Trends Will Dominate 2021…love those moodier tones.
8. Cozy Winter Style Finds…that are not leggings.
9. This week’s dinners…
Wednesday: Lemony Garlic Chicken and Orzo Soup
Saturday Sweet: Homemade Vegan Twix Bars
Check out all the past Nine Favorite Things posts here.
Lastly, 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.