Welcome to this week’s Nine Favorite Things.
Happy Easter everyone! What are you all up to? Hoping you’re spending a nice spring day with family and or friends. We’re back home in Colorado, so it’s just a small crew home for Easter this year. We really have no plans that I know of, but I know we’re all thankful we got to see everyone this past weekend in California. I guess we kind of celebrated a little early! Speaking of which, I have a trip recap for you guys!
First up, my cousin’s wedding in Julian was beautiful. I know everyone was worried about the weather since the previous day was pretty cold and rainy. But the clouds cleared and with the sun out it was warm and picture-perfect. Of course, I was all for the super small immediate family-only wedding. I knew every single person there. And to me, ending the night around ten-thirty was kind of perfect! Everyone in the wedding looked gorgeous and as I said, it was so nice to be with my brothers and cousins. Kind of like another Christmas gathering…but in a new place.
From Julian, my family headed to Palm Springs for a couple of days together in the dry heat and sunshine. While I made my way up to LA for three days where was welcomed with more sunny skies and eighty-degree temperatures. It was pretty much my dream (not going to lie, still wish I was there). I checked into my hotel and finished out the day with a blog post and emails. I ended up staying at the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood…a new spot for me, but so nice. If you’re heading into LA anytime soon, I’d definitely recommend staying here. The rooms are nice and spacious, and they have really pretty bathrooms…which is always super important to me. I have a thing with hotel bathrooms, they’ve got to be super nice and extra clean. If not, I’m totally grossed out. A nice bathroom is certainly KEY.
Anyway, Monday started off bright and early for a shoot with The Little Market. We spent all day cooking and creating some amazing spring and summer tables for you guys, so I can’t wait to share details on all that soon. Tuesday was back-to-back meetings. But fortunately, I was able to make time to meet a friend for drinks in the hotel lobby (another perk of the hotel is that it has multiple restaurants and the cutest lobby).
On Wednesday I stopped into Home & Family to tape a segment with them which will air this Tuesday. Then straight to the airport, and from there…home I went. So all-in-all, not the busiest trip to LA, but I was so grateful to be able to go. It had been over a year and it felt nice to be working with people again and shooting new things. Though, it’s always nice to be home too!
So that was that. And the rest of my family had an amazing time in Palm Springs. I’ve never been, but from the look and sounds of it, I need to plan a trip. They loved the house they rented with its own pool and hot tub. They even went out to dinner one night to a restaurant called EIGHT4NINE. The food was great, and the private room where they dined was awesome too.
On to April…yes, now that April is here the sun is staying up longer. I’m loving having more time to shoot photos. I’m also really looking forward to the warmer days ahead. It’s crazy, but summer is SO CLOSE. I’m currently dreaming up that summer garden and hoping we can make it just a little bigger and better this year.
Question: have you guys started planning your summer garden? I really want to do herbs and edible flowers this year. Vegetables have proven to be a bit tricky in our climate, so I’m going to focus on herbs and flowers for now!
Coming up this week, I’m sharing all new spring recipes, plus some new Mexican-inspired cuisine. We’ve also got a spring pasta (my favorite), a new fun sandwich. And of course, we’ll be ending the week with a simple dessert that Asher has been begging me to make. Any guesses?
1. Things I’m loving, wanting, and excited to try…
watching…Virgin River on Netflix – this was a suggestion from my parents.
baking…my easy Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Coffee Cake for Easter breakfast.
loving…Alo Yoga. if you haven’t tried their stuff yet, it’s some of my favorite yoga wear. Everything is so comfortable and soft. I love their lounge leggings and I’m living in their muse hoodie and matching sweatpants.
listening to…This American Life – my brother Brendan and his wife Lyndsie recommended this. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m looking forward to starting it.
reading…Sweet Laurel Savory. A wonderful cookbook if you are looking for healthy, grain-free recipes.
loving…this Turtleneck Jumpsuit my mom wore to the wedding. She looked so cute!
ordered…these Illesteva Jefferson Ace Sunglasses. A little more than I would spend on sunglasses, but they fit my face nicely, which is so rare!
ordered….the Day Glow Highlighting Balm from Merit. I have only heard good things about this new clean beauty line, excited to try this balm for a spring glow.
excited to try…the Mutha NO.1 Serum. I haven’t tried this yet but just added it to my cart. I’ve been looking for a morning oil with vitamin C. This sounds perfect and I already love all my other Mutha products.
loving…this Berry Nice Cheese Board Jigsaw Puzzle. Such a fun puzzle if you’re looking for something to do!
2. The Most Popular Recipes of March.
Most popular: Southern Style Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pasta
I couldn’t believe how much you guys loved this recipe. When I shared it, I wasn’t sure you’d be into the idea of a spicy cajun pasta, but to my surprise, so many of you loved this recipe. In fact, it might just be one of the most popular recipes of the year…only time will tell on that, but regardless I am so happy to see everyone enjoying this easy recipe! It’s everyone’s favorite cheesecake factory pasta, but with my twist. The sauce is spicy and sooo creamy. And the crispy chicken? Game changer when thinly sliced and tossed with the pasta. It’s hard not to love this one.
Not going to lie, I think these ended up being extra popular because Gigi Hadid made them and shared the link. Of course, no matter how you found them, these cookies are seriously DELICIOUS. Think soft and chewy in the center with the perfect peanut flavor, hints of brown sugar, and plenty of chocolate.
Also have to mention: Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Spinach Tortellini
Love a good simple one skillet dinner and apparently so do all of you!
3. New Finds for the Kitchen…
4. Favorite Questions of the Week.
q: If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
a: Nothing at all! Anything I’d ever want to change would be small things like the fact that I’m a month late on a HUGE deadline…and it still feels like I’m not even close to finishing. I have ups and downs like everyone, but in the big picture, I wouldn’t change a thing 🙂
q: How often do you grocery shop? I feel like I would live at the store if I cooked this much.
a: Usually every other day, but sometimes every day. And then sometimes we can go 4-5 days without hitting the store. But on average, every other day!
q: Are all of your siblings adopted? Are you?
a: Just Oslo, and we love him more for it, he is such a blessing (and yes, we all have the same parents).
q: What tips can you give for keeping your flowers beautiful?
a: Always trim the stems, get rid of any dead petals, and pick away the bottom leaves to prevent them from soaking up all the nutrients. I put the fresh flowers in warm water, which also seems to help.
Oh and use the flower food that usually comes with the flowers. it helps!
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that not all flowers are the same. Some take up water differently than others, so read a little about how to care for a specific flower!
q: How do you clean your baking sheets?
a: I get this question a lot. Really, I do nothing more than rinse them off with water, then dry. If there’s something really stuck I use one of those scrubber pads that are coarse with some soap. But usually, I just rinse them under warm water.
q: Not a question. But I just love your energy and recipes. Your space always makes me ?
a: this is my goal with everything I do. I try to bring good energy and create a happy space for you guys! I know that’s cheesy, but it’s really what I’ve realized I love to do, especially this past year.
q: Is there a design decision you would do differently in your kitchen?
a: yesss! I 100% would not put in an island stovetop. it just gets in the way!
q: Can you recommend a candle that will make the house smell like spa and not cooked meat?
a: I love the slow burn and Hinoki Fantome candles from Boy Smells. And these are pricy, but ANY Cire Trudon candle is amazing. I love the Nazareth scent which is cinnamon, so super cozy.
q: What’s your biggest tip for becoming known for what you do? I’m in the beginning stages.
a: make sure that what you are doing is unique to you and no one else can bring to the table what you can. And then, consistency is KEY. Consistent high-quality content will get you the farthest and create longevity.
5. Now Some Questions For You…
1. What’s your favorite Netflix show right now? Gimme your top 3? I need suggestions, I just watch reruns of all my favorite shows.
2. On that note, what’s your favorite streaming platform? I am certainly a Netflix girl.
3. What are you looking forward to most right now? For me, I’m looking forward to some new projects that are in the works.
4. What’s your favorite flower? My favorites change, currently, I’m really into jasmine, ranunculus, and anemone.
5. What is your favorite place to vacation? Anywhere tropical for me, I love the Bahamas.
6. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?
7. What recipes would you love to see this month? I need some new ideas to spark some inspiration!
6. Exciting News…Meet Wiggle!
Our newest little baby goat! Surprise! While we were in California, one of our goats had her babies. The funny thing? We weren’t even sure she was pregnant. My dad and I had an idea she might be, but we definitely weren’t sure. Sadly only one of 3 survived, but he’s a lively little one!
Anyway, Asher has officially named our newest family member, Wiggle! He indeed likes to wiggle his tail a lot, so Wiggle it is!
And then some photos from the past week…
From the wedding
The bride and groom – Matthew and Caroline (all my brothers were the groomsmen)
(from left to right, Dad, Creighton, Mom, Brendan, Red)
(Brendan and Lyndsie)
(Asher and Red)
(Oslo…getting so big)
And from my shoot with The Little Market
7. Favorite Links I am Loving…
8 Unique Online Home Shops You May Not Know About…so many hidden gems I never knew about.
These Skincare Products Are Too Pricey…but here are their cheaper cousins, which are just as effective.
With 7 New Design-Centric Hotels, Los Angeles Is Officially Back in Action…certainly some new ones here to save for my next trip.
the 20 Trader Joe’s Items I Always Buy…some new healthy options to try.
7 Styling Tips to Give Your Home a Whole New Look…without spending a dime.
Garages of the Future Won’t Be Eyesores Anymore…the prettiest garages, what an upgrade.
Make Life Beautiful With Jersey Ice Cream Co…love this design team.
The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2021…what is on your list?
Matilda Goad London Home Renovation…certainly such a pretty English home.
This Common Mistake Could Reduce Your Home’s Value as Much as 30%…if you’re renovating, be sure to include these items.
Help! What Podcasts Do You Like…read the comments for some great recommendations.
35+ Easy Leftover Ham Recipes for the Week Ahead…if you’re looking for ideas.
35 Tiny Things To Do For Yourself Today…love so many of these and some are quick and simple to do too!
Are You Overfunctioning…the phenomenon leading so many women to burn out.
The Smart Girl’s Guide To Intuitive Eating…10 basic principles to start with.
43 New Beauty Products That Got Us Really Freaking Excited Last Month…read this if you love all things beauty.
7 Luxurious Oceanfront Homes For Sale in Miami…if you want to do a little daydreaming…of course!
What Really Happened in Texas? Understanding the Power & Winter Storm Crisis…certainly an interesting read.
12 Online Grocery Stores You Probably Don’t Know About Yet (but Should)…we love Thrive Market.
8. New Springtime Accessories…
9. This Week’s Dinners + Weekend Eats…