Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi with Sage Butter and Cherry Tomatoes.
Welcome to another Nine Favorite Things.
And just like that I’m home, out of the Cabo sun, and back into the Colorado mountain summer weather. Which I really can’t complain about. My quick three day trip with my family was perfect and very much needed. But it’s also good to be back home. Sometimes all you need is a few days away from the computer and the phone to get a little refresh (sharing all the fun details and photos below).
I can’t say I fully disconnected (I really don’t know how). But I definitely stayed off social media more than I have in well over a year. And you know? It was nice. Next time, I won’t wait a year to take a break. Actually, if everything pans out, I might be completely off the grid for a few days real soon. Did anyone guess the location last week? Here’s a hint, it’s a US trip, but to a place I’ve never been. It’s also a place that not many get the opportunity to go to.
Anyway, I’m rambling here, moving along…
I hope you’ve all had a good week. And if you’re vacationing like my family is, I hope you’re really relaxing and enjoying this important time! After getting home on Thursday night, I jumped back into work on Friday. I took the day to attempt to get organized. My inbox was very, very scary…I’m still working my way through it.
It does feel nice to get somewhat organized. Though it was a struggle at first to jump back in after a few days off. Personally, my first day back home after a vacation is always the hardest. I took one of THE NUE CO – NOOTRO-FOCUS supplements instead of reaching for that third cup of coffee. This was my first time trying the supplement. But I figured that after a day of travel I could really use all the extra nutrients…feelin good!
question: What’s happening on your end? What are you all loving most about summer? Have done any vacations yet?
Coming up this week, it’s back to our regularly scheduled content. We’re shortening up the posts just a bit, but I’m excited to dive into a new week with new recipes. Including a fresh salad, a simple seafood dinner, and a couple of sweets too!
watching…I know I talked last week about this, but did you watch the new Gossip Girl? What did you think? I watched Friday night while responding to comments and i’m into it. hard to say after just one episode, but I think it’s going to be so good.
ordered…way too many vases from Zara home. Just hit purchase for this terracotta vase, this tall and colorful terracotta vase, this one too, this textured vase, and then this tiny stone vase. I’m excited.
listening to…Who What Wear with Hillary Kerr: Eric Daman on Costume Design From Gossip Girl and Sex and the City. two icon shows. I loved the behind the scenes on the fashion.
reading…The Push which comes highly recommend from my cousin Abby. She said it’s the first book she’s ever finished in 5 days.
burning…the Dada candle from Cire Trudon. smells like summer with mint and chamomile.
loving…this pretty home. the kitchen is so unique. I love that it’s darker and the windows are gorgeous.
listening too…Maeve Reilly On How To Build A Career Doing What You Love…Maeve is one of the top stylists within the industry. I loved hearing her story, especially since styling is something I love so much, and always thought I’d end up doing.
loving…this Zellige Gorgotten Turquoise tile from Clè. so pretty!
drinking…the pineapple mezcal at Flora Farms. Asher also order a virgin hibiscus watermelon spritz that was pretty darn delicious.
loving…Zoe Organics Belly Oil from my cousin Maggie. she’s six and a half months pregnant and has been using this to help prevent stretch marks.
Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken and Avocado Bacon Salad
Raspberry Lemon Brioche Rolls with Whipped Ricotta Cream
Pesto Peach Chicken in White Wine with Burrata
Garlic Butter Creamed Corn Chicken
Cheesy Zucchini Chicken and Rice Bake
Jammy Cherry Tomato Pasta with Crisp Lemon Rosemary Chickpeas
Skillet Creamy Cajun Chicken Lazone with Herby Corn
Greek Watermelon Feta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Charred Baby Bell Peppers with Burrata
Basil Parmesan Pasta with Crispy Chicken, Prosciutto, and Arugula
4 Ingredient Creamy Fruit Popsicles
question: as we enter into the second half of summer, what recipes is everyone looking for the most?
q: would you rather explore coral reefs or outer space?
a: coral reefs!!! fun fact, I got my scuba diving license when I was a kid. I love to snorkel when we’re on vacation.
q: do you eat fast food ever?
a: honestly, no. but even as a kid I was never into fast food. I was weird ??♀️ I will say that I really, really need to try in-and-out. I just have to see what all the hype is about.
q: what’s a mistake you made starting out that you wish you could do over?
a: I actually can’t think of one thing I would do differently. anything that I f-upped early on, I learned from. then I was able to adjust to do/make things better. I’m a big believer in learning from your mistakes.
q: are there any ingredients you can’t stand to cook or eat?
a: I’m not someone who likes tofu and have no interest to cook with it. I know people love it but it’s not my thing.
q: what’s your favorite month of the year?
a: October, November, and December, but especially October before Halloween. so many exciting things ahead, Halloween ? , Thanksgiving ? and Christmas! ?
q: fav road trip snack items from a gas station?
a: a good slice of pizza! my mom and I drove from Ohio to Colorado when I was in 7th grade and we grabbed pizza at a gas station somewhere. ever since then road stop pizza has been my favorite.
q: so when/how do you have the time to make all the recipes when you post everyday?
a: I’m working a lot! I usually cook at least Monday-Friday all day long, sun up to sun down. then I’m on the computer early morning and at late night.
q: what was your favorite subject in school?
a: 100% art…and then gym class.
q: top 5 favorite fruits?
a: this is HARD. I lovve fruit.
1. pineapple or mango
2. blackberries, but really all berries
3. peaches, but only really good peaches
also cherries!! yumm ?
q: would you give up gluten or dairy?
a: gluten! there are so many great gluten-free products out now a days that are really delicious. plus, I actually love baking with GF flours when I feel like switching things up.
q: how do you feel about the mustard and watermelon combo?
a: honestly? it sounds so gross. why would you do that? seems like it would ruin the watermelon…some of these trends are just weird. and watermelon is great just as is ?
Our family trips are never dull, but Cabo was definitely a trip for the books. It all started a couple of weeks ago when four of my brothers…Creighton, Brendan (with Lynd’s tagging along), Malachi (and Cait), and Red (and Hailey) flew down a couple days earlier than the rest of the family to celebrate Red’s 21st birthday with a group of friends. They were able to scope out everything ahead of time so that by the time everyone else arrived, they already had a nice idea of the best spots to hit up.
First things first, our house! My mom worked so hard to plan this trip for everyone. At first she thought we’d all just stay in one of the many Cabo hotels with suites. But in the end she decided a house would be so much better.
We we’re so excited to be able to work with VRBO at the very last minute to secure the perfect house for my super large family. We had seventeen people total (18 with Oslo). So finding a house spacious enough to comfortably fit everyone is a real task in itself. The VRBO site is so simple to navigate and made finding a house so much easier. We had three incredible options that would have worked perfectly. We ended up staying at the gorgeous Casa Bella Vita in Pedregal Cabo San Lucas. It’s an ocean front property close to town with 7 bedrooms, so it was the perfect fit for us.
The location of this house is perfect. It was beachfront, so watching (and hearing) the waves crash was awesome. It even had its own beach volleyball court that the fam used pretty much everyday, we loved it!
The house was also located in a cute (and safe) community with incredible views and cobblestone roads. It was only a twenty to thirty minute walk directly into the heart of Cabo (and so pretty). We’re a walking family, so being able to walk into town was really nice.
When we travel together as a family, it’s important not only be under the same roof, but also to have the amenities that make the trip even more enjoyable for everyone. One important feature for us is the kitchen. We’re not one of those families that eats every meal out when traveling. With so many people, it’s nice to be able to do a big grocery run and have food on hand for everyone to enjoy. We always make breakfast and lunch back at the house, so a working kitchen is KEY.
Going out for dinner is great for some of the nights, but cooking in is fun too. We grilled out a couple of nights. One night it was steaks, sea bass, a big summer pasta salad, watermelon salad, and roasted brussels sprouts. Another night it was charred poblano peppers, homemade guacamole, and tinga tacos.
A fun perk of this house was the option of an in house chef. We had a chef come twice, and it was honestly so nice…and totally delicious!
As you’ll see in the photos, we really loved this house and working with VRBO made it really easy. They helped to make the family’s vacation even better!
We used the house as our hub, since everything in Cabo is no more than a forty to fifty minute drive. We spent time at Cabo Surf, walked the marina, and even went out on a boat for a few hours.
When it came to dinner spots, we did find a few gems. To no one’s surprise my favorite was Flora Farms. This was 100% my kind of spot, the grounds are beautiful. There are fresh fig and olive trees all over, sunflowers growing left and right, and flowers in every direction. We only went for dinner. We didn’t realize you could really spend the entire day there between the farm tour, pool, spa, shopping, and restaurant. Even still, we had an incredible time with an awesome meal and even some ice cream afterwards.
If you ever go, have everyone at the table order up something different. My favorites on the menu were the arugula pizza, ravioli, catch of the day, and roasted broccoli. The fettuccini was also incredible, and if you love pork, you must order their pork chop. It’s insane. Everyone pretty much ordered something different, so we we’re able to try most items on the menu and nothing disappointed. We finished with cones of ice cream from Flora’s Ice Cream Cart.
The other spot we really loved was Romeo & Julieta. The boys found it first and took us all back for dinner. Their fig and burrata appetizer won everyone over immediately. And the spinach gnocchi was the most loved dish on the menu.
My family also went to Mi Casa after I left and said it was delicious with a very nice open air eating space.
And then of course, all the taco vendors on the street and around the beaches were incredible too. I think we ate tacos at some point almost everyday.
That really sums up the vacation for me. We spent a lot of time by the pool, hitting up the beaches, wandering the town on foot, exploring some local spots, and just hang out at the house before dinner. It was really such an amazing trip and so much fun to be able to get this time with my family. This was our last trip before my cousin Maggie has her baby, so the next time we all get together, we’ll be an even larger crew!
And lastly, a big thanks to VRBO for really helping us make this happen. We were struggling to find the perfect place and they really made things easy!
Now the big photo dump…
(Caroline, Abby, Maggie, Asher, Hailey, Me…missing Lyn’s, Ethel, and Mom)
(Kai and Asher)
(Red and Oslo)
(Malachi and I)
(Red and Hailey)
(dad, me, mom)
(Oslo and Hailey – my favorite pic)
(the pool and beach at our amazing Vrbo)
(Lynd’s, Oslo, and Asher)
(Abby and Oslo)
(Abby and Asher)
(little Oslo – I just love him so much)
(Asher and Brendan)
(Matt and Caroline)
(Matthew, Chef Ulysses, and Malachi)
(Creighton and Maggie)
(Lynd’s and Oslo)
(Red and Hailey)
We have summer projects in the works, here’s my current inspiration from Pinterest. It’s very cute and cozy with a small secret garden vibe to it
(source – the indoor outdoor garden vibe is magical)
(Pinterest source – love these doors)
…I’d love to see Healdsburg and the Palm Dessert.
…wow, that’s a big boat. I want to see the inside.
…so many fun colors.
…love these ideas.
…such a fan of vintage shopping.
The Unexpected Workout We Can’t Get Enough Of RN…walking is my favorite.
…eat for beauty.
…such a pretty home and very unique.
…if you are a fan of the original series, this is a fun read.
…these all look so cute and sound delicious.
Everything We Know About the 2021 Nordstrom Sale…who’s shopping the sale this year?
Monday: One Pot Melty Burrata Lemon Pesto Pasta
Tuesday: 30 Minute Crispy Cheese Chicken Tinga Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
Wednesday: Pesto Cheese Zucchini Ravioli with Burst Tomatoes
Cabo looks absolutely stunning, great pictures! So glad you managed to join your fam for a break. Your little sister has such an amazing sense of style, especially for one so young – she looks fabulous in all her outfits! Wondering where your next trip is to. I’d have guessed Alaska, but I reckon you’d go somewhere warmer! Xx
Thanks so much for reading today! I am so glad you enjoyed the pictures, Asher is quite a hoot! Will definitely keep you posted on my next trip:) xTieghan
Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos, what a special trip and memories to cherish. Love reading your favourite things and all your news, lots of inspiration right there and of course your amazing recipes which I’ve been making for a few years now and they never disappoint. Wishing you a happy summer xx
Thanks so much for your kind message and reading along Maxine! Have a great week:) xTieghan
Hey Tieghan..loved seeing the pics of the fam. Looks like everyone was having a great time. Cannot believe how fast Asher is growing! Already a young woman. She is the spitting image of you! Which one of your siblings is the oldest? As for foods I would like to see right now is much lighter summer food. No heavy, creamy cheeses, more seafood, fruits and veggies. Less sauces. How about cold seafood dishes..they are lovely in the hot weather. How about your take on summer international foods…(Italian, French..etc..) I need to take a look at that summer Niçoise salad. Somehow I missed that one. I always look forward to your Sundays post! Thanks so much for sharing everything you love with us!
Thanks so much for reading along! Right?! It is so crazy how fast Asher is growing, I can hardly believe it myself. Will try to make some lighter summer recipes:) I hope you have a great week! xTieghan
I’m so glad you were able to have a break. I love your blog and selfishly, hope you never quit. 😉 I learn something new from you each week.
Husband and I stayed in a house in Pedregal a few years ago. It was so awesome, not as awesome as the house you guys rented, (we weren’t on the beach) but such a great place, the roads are nuts and I totally got lost, but it was amazing. It’s certainly says something about your parents and their parenting skill, that as adults you all still want to vacation and play together. It’s really beautiful to see, thanks for sharing all the stories and pictures.
Thanks so much for your kind message and reading along! Lol yes the roads in Pedregal are crazy! I hope you have a great week:) xTieghan
This was a great read hearing about your trip wonderful pics thanks for sharing. I notice you weren’t in many of the pics. Did you end up taking most of the pics you shared?? It sounds like you had a great time and that’s cool you could hire a chef. What was your favorite thing he made?? Now on to a must watch tv series its Virgin River. They just came out with Season 3 I’ve already watched half the episodes. Not sure what Gossip Girl is about I think you mentioned it before. Trust me you must watch Virgin River. Where are you going that off the grid that many people don’t go??If not Alaska my guess would be somewhere in the Northwest up in the mountains maybe somewhere in Wyoming the Grand Teton National Park or the Denali National Park in Alaska. Moving on to recipes I need some new inspiration from you. I love that your going to share seafood this week. Everyone seems to be doing Salmon need something different what’s your favorite fish?? I am glad you said Oct. Nov.Dec were your favorite mos. great choices. It’s no secret I love anything pumpkin. I’ve got some in my pantry waiting to be used. What’s your all time favorite pumpkin recipe?? I saw on your list of fruit you like you mentioned bananas. Have you ever made a Banana’s Foster?? Does that sound appealing to you?? Thanks for keeping me inspired you’re the best!! 🙂
Thanks so much for reading today! Lol yes, I much prefer to be behind the camera:) We absolutely loved the taco set up that the chef made. I will definitely keep you all posted on my next vacation:) I love a good salmon dish, but I also love lobster and pasta! Sorry I haven’t tried making bananas fosters, but I do love a good pumpkin bread. Have a great week! xTieghan
Your trip looked wonderful! I’m starting to think of a fun menu to watch the opening ceremonies for the Tokyo Olympics. What would you serve?
Thanks so much!! I really think you could do anything you like, I would probably do heavy appetizers! xTieghan
I am going to be 69 this year and have been going to Cabo since I was 11.
Went to Floras farm when it first opened, thanks to a Thomas Keller blog. There were no signs….no one at Hacienda del Mar or any hotel knew what I was talking about. My husband and pushed on and found it.
The food is amazing and boy it was a whole in the wall when we first came. This year they gave me the place mat that they only used once for when Thomas came to eat there.
The margarita is the best I have the recipe if you would like…
We go every year for 2 weeks in February for the Whales.
Thanks so much for reading and sharing your story! How awesome you have been going to Flora Farms for so long, it really is quite an amazing place! I hope you have a great week:) xTieghan
The margarita recipe!
Just found out I have gluten sensitivity. Major bummer…
I would love to hear about the gluten free flours you use for baking!
Most of my recipes can easily be swapped with an equal amount of GF flour, I like Cup4cup. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan
Cabo pics are gorgeous, love the house & location. Too bad you couldn’t stay longer! I ordered the book you recommended, looks really good. Love your recipes-Keep those inspirational recipes coming!? you’re ? amazing
Thank you so very much Debbie! I hope you have a great week:) xTieghan
Are you going to Alaska?? That’s my guess for your next trip. If so, come to Palmer where I live. Come see our beautiful mountains!
Stay tuned…but will definitely keep you posted:) Have a great week! xTieghan
I grew up going to Mexico (my mom got her Master’s there during summers when I was little), and the one negative thing that sticks out the most is “don’t drink the water!” Like seriously, bottled water even for toothbrushing. How did you handle it, or is that just antiquated?
Thanks so much for reading today! Luckily, we didn’t have to go to the extreme of using bottled water to brush our teeth. We were told the water in Cabo is desalinated, but we did use bottle water for drinking:) Have a great week! xTieghan
SO much goodness in this post!
I also can’t wait to read The Push- love a thriller!
My fave month is October- it’s just the best! And I love Halloween. And pumpkins.
With you on tofu. I’ve tried many times, but I just can’t love it.
Your trip looks absolutely incredible, and I just love how close your family seems. Looks like a blast!
Happy Sunday! Lol let me know how you like The Push! Glad I’m not alone on the tofu:) Have a great week! xTieghan
Thank you for sharing all the lovely family photos of your wonderful vacation! Family is so special, and you are blessed to be surrounded by yours ?. I’m so happy for you!
Awe thanks so much for your kind message and reading along Debbie!! Have a wonderful week:) xTieghan
Nice to see you having fun with your family! You work so hard.
Thanks so much Suzanne! xTieghan
A great blog and a great Sunday read. I love all of your holiday photos, looks like you and the family had an amazing time.
This year I am having a staycation. As much as I would love to escape abroad for a week, it’s too much hassle right now. I am hoping to holiday abroad in 2022, fingers crossed.
In the meantime I have just started a sugar flower project as part of a collaboration for Cake International, which I am super excited about.
We have summer sales on in the UK, so I ventured to the Zara Home site and may get a couple of vases also, as I am looking for a few more to display sugar or real flowers.
I love the link that you shared with the pretty home, lots of inspiration there. A few weeks ago I started playing a phone app game called Redecor where you have a room and you redecorate, I’m hooked! haha
As for beauty products for travel, but for home as well I think that I might try shampoo and conditioner bars next, as I’ve heard that they’re pretty good as well as being eco friendly.
Have a great week 🙂
Happy Sunday and thanks so much for reading today! Nothing wrong with a staycation, the sugar flower project sounds fun! I will have to check out the Redecor app lol sounds pretty awesome. Have a great week! xTieghan