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Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post.

As I write this, it’s the coziest night. Snow is lightly falling, I have the fire going and my jumbo size Slow Burn candle is burning away. The perfect January night. I LOVE a cozy night more than anything. January can sometimes be a little depressing with the holidays over, but this year things feel a little different. For one, I’ve been working non-stop on different projects, so that is really exciting! A couple of fun things will be coming out this year! Does anyone have any ideas?

I’m also attempting to learn how to use TikTok. I am not tech-savvy at all, so creating videos is a struggle for me, but I bought a course through With Honors and have been working on it a little bit each day. I will say that it’s fun learning something new. But oh my goodness, finding time to actually learn something new is so hard. Glad I’m making it work…even if it takes a full month to actually finish (the course isn’t very long)!

Have you guys started any online courses over the last year with the extra time at home? I highly recommend checking out With Honors courses if you’re looking to grow your own online business or learn something in the social media realm. They have courses from top influences and CEO’s that are really easy to follow.

The other thing I have really been doing a lot of is listening to podcasts whenever I have a moment that doesn’t require my mind to be thinking creatively. I started to find that listening to podcasts while cooking/photographing was distracting and I had to turn them off. So now I’ve been trying to listen more in the evenings like when I’m just making dinner for myself, editing photos/videos, or if I end up taking an afternoon walk around town. I mix it up between more business-related podcasts and ones that are more mindless and better for just letting my mind relax.

The other thing I’ve become really interested in is home updates. I know I mentioned my bathroom sink in last week’s post, but I’ve been pinning photos for both my house and the studio. I want to update everything and create my own little sanctuary. Anyone else in the same mindset? With so much time at home, I love the idea of creating my perfect space that makes me feel inspired. Plus, once travel is a thing again, it will be so nice to come home to a space that’s welcoming and cozy. So, I’ve been doing lots of pinning and searching around online.

Ok and lastly, the other amazing thing about this particular January has been having most of my family here in Colorado. Everyone came for Christmas (they stay with my parents) and basically just never left. They’re all working from home anyway, so everyone figured why not stay and enjoy the snow. I feel so lucky to be able to have them around and I know the bond we all have as a family is a rare one.

That said…they create just a bit of extra work. My brothers can really eat, so I’ve been making a lot of food these days, some of their personal favorites are the spicy pesto pasta alla vodka, dan dan noodles, tacos, folded buffalo chicken wraps, and then Red’s favorite is the buffalo cauliflower from the HBH Super Simple Cookbook. Kai and Red have X-Games coming up this week, so they’re currently in a “bubble”, which is interesting.

Coming up this week on HBH, I’ll be sharing a new take on one of my all-time favorite soups. Tuesday’s post is still up in the air but it will likely be something with citrus. On Wednesday we’ll move onto my very favorite skillet recipe (so excited to share). Then a super simple sheet pan dinner on Thursday. And then the sweetest, healthier chocolate dessert on Friday…which means I actually have no idea. Taking suggestions!

Last thing…I just heard the most exciting news that has me smiling ear to ear. It has not one thing to do with work, so don’t expect any TV show or cookbook announcements. I will share the fun details when I get the OK!

Nine Favorite Things | halfbakedharvest.com

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

watching…Dream Home Makeover and America’s Next Top Model. Do you guys remember this show? My mom and I used to watch it back in the day. What are you guys watching? I still haven’t been able to get into Bridgerton.

cooking…I’ve been cooking bowls and bowls of Ramen. My family did Ramen night on Saturday. Plus, Pasta alla Vodka on Friday.

listening to…The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast: Almost 30’s Krista Williams & Lindsey Simcik On Finding Purpose, Strength, & New Opportunities. This episode is so on point and so refreshing to listen to. I absolutely loved this conversation.

reading…Blowing My Way to the Top by Jen Atikin. Really excited to dive into this book. I got the audio version so I can listen while doing other things. Jen always offers up the best advice, both career-wise and life-wise. 

ordered…Dipityque Hypnotic Collection. I got the Baies and the Figuier Candles. I am love these so much.

loving…these Veronica Beard Sandals. I’m not usually a slides shoe kind of person at all, but I have a soft spot for these. I love the fun print and could picture myself wearing them on a spring break vacation to Florida.

ordered…this tripod for my phone. I’ve been making do without any kind of phone stand/tripod when I film recipes and shoot my Instagram Stories. But I finally just order this tripod. I can already tell it’s going to make my life so much easier. No idea why I waited so long to purchase this.

thinking about ordering…these Lug Sole Leather Ankle Boots from Zara. Affordable and so cute, but do I NEED them? That I don’t know. Thoughts?

ordered…Grown Alchemist Hand Wash in Sweet Orange, Cedarwood, Sage. I have heard such nice things about this!

loving…this Marc Jacobs shoulder bag. Look, I could totally buy this and if I had somewhere to go I might. But with nowhere to go, for right now it’s staying in my shopping cart. I love the black bag. It’s unique with the handle, but yet simple and classic. It’s a look that would never go out of style and always feels cute.

thinking about ordering…Dr Dennis Gross LED Mask. After reading this post on at-home light therapy I am almost convinced I need this mask. Is it worth the money? I am so curious to try at-home light therapy. I have only heard amazing things! Has anyone tried it?

2. Healthy, But Cozy Winter Recipes.

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Chicken | halfbakedharvest.com #chicken #healthy #recipes #easy

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Chicken

Healthier Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Vegetable Soup | halfbakedharvest.com

Healthier Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Vegetable Soup

Sheet Pan Sticky Ginger Sesame Chicken and Crispy Brussels Sprouts | halfbakedharvest.com

Sheet Pan Sticky Ginger Sesame Chicken and Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Healthier Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme | halfbakedharvest.com

Healthier Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme

One Pot Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

One Pot Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup with Salty Lime Chips | halfbakedharvest.com

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup with Salty Lime Chips

Super Simple Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala | halfbakedharvest.com #Indian #healthyrecipes #chicken #easy #fast

Super Simple Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala

Healthier Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

Bonus: Healthier Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars

3. Favorite New Home finds for a Winter Refresh…

Here is what I’m dying to refresh my home with this season.

4. Favorite Questions of the Week.

q: Do you give up on recipes or keep testing until you make them work?
a: Yup!!! I normally try pretty hard if I love the concept, but if it’s just not working, then it’s not working and I move on. Most of the time the failed recipe ends up turning into something even better. I just re-imagine it and usually love it even more.

q: What’s your longest lasting kitchen tool?
a: I have had these measuring cups from Crate and Barrel for years and I love them. They also have a matching measuring spoon set too.

q: I am such a slow cook, how can I speed things up?
a: If you are following a recipe, read the recipe through before you start cooking. Saves so much time! Other than that, I’d say to go slow and enjoy the process. You’re probably messing less up and creating a better meal by going slower! Not everything has to be done at a super-fast pace!

q: Where do you get all your sweaters?
a: I live in all my & Other Stories hoodies and sweatshirts!! They have some of the best! And then of course Shopbop is always a go-to. Zara has great ones too! I’m wearing their hoodie now. And also Revolve. And then Sezane always has the prettiest knits that are also unique.

q: What do you always make homemade? And what do you buy from the store?
a: I always make pizza dough and fresh naan homemade! But I always buy marinara sauce. Rao’s Homemade is my favorite.

q: Do you like traveling or prefer staying in that paradise of yours?
a: I am 100% a homebody and love my little paradise. BUT I am dying to travel. After a year of being home. I really, really miss getting to travel every month for work!

q: Do all of your siblings still live at home/nearby? Are you the oldest or in the middle?
a: Nope! We’re pretty spread out. My oldest brother lives in Cleveland, but he’s been in CO since March since he’s able to work from home. The next brother is back and forth from CO to CA. The next brother lives in LA with his wife (that’s so weird to say, lol. Hi Lynds!) Then there’s me! I’m in CO…and can’t wait to be able to travel for work again. I miss it! And the next two brothers Kai and Red travel constantly and don’t really have a home base. Asher and Oslo are of course at home here with my parents.

5. Inspiring Me This Week…

(via Domino…I love this marble)

6. A Few of the Instagram accounts I follow.

Whenever I do a Q+A on Instagram I always get asked who I follow for inspiration. I don’t follow many food accounts at all because I don’t love seeing what others in my space are creating. I can tend to compare myself, so I just eliminate the option. It helps me to be even more creative and different with my own recipes. But I love following fashion, interior design, and lifestyle brands for outside/unexpected sources of inspiration. Below are the influencers that always leave me feeling inspired.

Leanne Ford – Currently Leanne is my top source of inspiration. With all the home updates I’m dreaming about making, her feed has an overwhelming amount of design inspiration. For any of you not familiar, Leanne is an interior designer, working both on and off TV. You might recognize her from HGTV, but if you don’t follow her yet, you should. Her style is minimal and rustic, but yet so pretty. I love everything about it. Check out her previous Los Angels home here and her current Pittsburgh home here.

Marianna Hewitt – I have been following Marianna for years, but the last few months she’s really left me feeling inspired to create more of a work/life balance. Marianna is the co-founder of the very popular skincare brand Summer Fridays. She’s also a top fashion and beauty influencer and podcast host, so she’s balancing multiple hats. I’ve been loving her daily quotes, her morning routines, and of course, all her makeup tutorials that are super helpful for me. I’ve learned so much!

Jen Atikin – I just started following Jen within the last month, but have found a lot of her content to be so good. She’s a celebrity hairstylist but offers up so much more than just hairstyling tips. She’ll share everything from how she created her multiple brands(OUAI and ManeAddicts), how she gets it all done, her workouts, and more. It’s her business advice that’s my favorite though, I’ve learned so much from her the last few weeks.

Daphne Oz – For the best real life content and recipes too. She’s always sharing her family life along with her struggles and how she “balances” it all.

Mcalpine House – For home design inspiration! What interior design accounts fo you guys love? 

Question: who/what are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?

7. A Few Favorite Links I am Loving…

Leanne Ford Reveals Her Top Budget Tips for a Renovation…such good tips.

Making the Switch to Non-Toxic Cleaning Products…here’s what to buy.

Healthyish Grocery Store Swaps…love these simple, but still delicious swaps. 

Designer Monique Gibson Designs a Tribeca Aerie with High-Impact Views…such a pretty NYC home. I love the kitchen and the view.

The 11 Kitchen Trends In 2021 That Are Both VERY Exciting And Totally User-Friendly…love the floor to ceiling tiles

Diverse And Delicious Recipes From Cultures Around The World…my family would love Lok Lak. What would you guys make? 

Food Isn’t Good or Bad…loved this. If you’re struggling with “good” versus “bad” food right now, read this.

10 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Workspace, According to Emily Henderson…if you’re feeling uninspired at home, use these tips.

7 Tech Hacks to Help You Find Work-Life Balance…I removed notifications from my phone and it’s been a game changer. 

37 Valentine’s Day Gifts That Make Sense in 2021…I love the limited edition Rose Diptyque Candle.

This Is the Biggest Source of Household Clutter…if you feel like organizing today, read this.

11 Bunk Beds That Your Kids Won’t Want to Outgrow…if only my brother and I could have had one of these beds. So fun.

Shea McGee Just Shared Another Smart Use for the Humble Kitchen Basket… I LOVE a basket and this is such a good kitchen hack.

We Know Your Dream Vacation Based On Your Taste In Food…mine was spot on. What did you get?

8. Valentine’s Day Style…for staying in.

9. this week’s dinners…

Crispy Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Honey Lime Avocado Crema | halfbakedharvest.com

Monday: Crispy Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Honey Lime Avocado Crema

Healthier 25 Minute Kung Pao Chicken | halfbakedharvest.com

Tuesday: Healthier 25 Minute Kung Pao Chicken

Saucy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Rice Noodles | halfbakedharvest.com #shrimp #easyrecipes #healthy #seafood #thairecipes #asian

Wednesday: Saucy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Rice Noodles

Sheet Pan Korean Chicken Bowl with Sweet Potatoes and Yum Yum Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com #sheetpan #korean

Thursday: Sheet Pan Korean Chicken Bowl with Sweet Potatoes and Yum Yum Sauce

Roasted Broccoli Pasta Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Whipped Ricotta | halfbakedharvest.com

Friday: Roasted Broccoli Pasta Carbonara

Easy Homemade Vegan Snickers | halfbakedharvest.com

Saturday Sweets: Easy Homemade Vegan Snickers

Homemade Cheesy Pizza Rolls | halfbakedharvest.com

Sunday Game Day: Homemade Cheesy Pizza Rolls

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.

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  1. For your projects, New cookbook, more HBH products? New instant pot recipes perhaps?

    Always love reading your Sunday posts. Excited to hear your happy non-work news you hinted at too 🙂xx

  2. The link to your tortilla soup reminded me to share this funny coincidence. Two weeks ago, I made it for the first time, and my little family of 3 LOVED it. I immediately knew that my brother–who lives 900 miles away (I’m in the Midwest; he lives in Denver)–would love it too. So I texted him to share the recipe. He was at the firehouse in Frisco that evening (he’s a paramedic/ shift chief), and they were in the process of making the same exact recipe! Was such a little thing, but it made me feel connected to him in a way I needed–I miss him dearly and with this stupid pandemic… [Btw, the guys all agreed the soup was amazing too, he said!]

  3. For natural cleaning products just use vinegar or hydrogen peroxide! These are the only cleaners I’ve used for over a decade (and bleach when needed).

    Not sure about the light therapy.. once you hit 30 just start using a prescription grade retinol cream daily and sunscreen. The rest of these skin products don’t really work!!

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