Nine Favorite Things
The countdown to Christmas is officially on. Somehow we are less than a week away from Christmas. Even crazier is that this is the last favorites post before Christmas! I know we all say this every single year, but this month more than ever has gone so fast. I looked at the calendar this week and I was really thinking I had more time. But as of Friday, it’s full-on Christmas. Most of the emails I’ve recently sent have all bounced back saying “out of office until January 2nd”. And with Dew Tour this weekend, some of my family are already here, and the others will be trickling in.
And speaking of Dew Tour…I am so proud of my brother Red’s win yesterday. Dew Tour is his favorite event and another win here means so much to him. It’s also his last big comp before the Beijing Olympics in a little over a month. Go Red!
My brother and sister-in-law are on their way here from LA, and my cousins are coming up on the 23rd. My parents are about to have a very full house and I have a lot of food to make. But I’m excited. It might be complete chaos, but that’s just Christmas with my family.
Food-wise, I also have some work ahead of me. Having so many people and for such a long period of time can be hard to manage with work. I usually try to try work recipes into the family dinner. But most of the time, what I’m making for the blog is not quite enough food for everyone. I try to do things like chili, lots of pasta, tacos, short ribs, and french onion soup…my sister-in-law’s favorite. I also always end up making butter chicken and usually a big pot of gumbo too. So many people. So much food! Hopefully, I’ll get some new recipe inspiration from everyone too, that’s always fun!
Asher has planned our annual “Christmas Day” (our day together doing Christmassy things), to a T. Sharing her ideas below, she has some really cute ones this year.
This feels weird, but to everyone who celebrates, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and the coming days are filled with celebrations, family, friends, and good food! My only wish is for some Christmas Eve snow!
1. Things i’m loving, wanting, and excited to try…
loving…The Nécassaire Holiday Body Collection. Use my code HBH10 for an additional 10% off the set. It’s our favorite body set
watching…The New Sex and The City, well, kind of. I want to watch all the previous seasons first, but I’ll get to the new one eventually.
listening to…honestly just Christmas music. But I did listen to 6 Strategies To Gain More Focus and Get Better Results in your Life on The Skinny Confidential podcast. It’s perfect for anyone setting life goals in the new year.
ordered…the entire Zitsticka line. Asher had this on her Christmas list. I read about it and it’s highly recommended and well-loved for anyone struggling with acne. You can use the VIOLETCHEER for 25% off.
watching…A Boy Called Christmas on Netflix. Asher and my mom watched it and really enjoyed it.
gifting…Baby Foot For Men to my dad. I tried a knock-off last year and the little booties worked pretty good. But this year I’m trying the real deal. I got my dad a pair too because…what else do I get him? He’ll love this.
loving…Mate The Label Thermal Wide Leg Pant. A recommendation from my (pregnant) sister-in-law, Lynd’s. She loves these and says she’s living in them right now.
ordered…Winc Wine. I have to stock up for the family.
loving…this Kitchen. Wow, that spiral staircase is so pretty.
gifting…Otherland candles. They have the cutest gift boxes, personalized not and you can customize each box with whatever candles you want!
watching……honestly, I was impressed. And the pasta he made looks unreal. Delicious!
watching…Bill Gates Holiday Books 2021. I’ve never seen an Instagram video so well edited and put together. He created a magical Christmas scene.
2. My favorite holiday drinks + appetizers.
3. Last minute stocking stuffers and hostess gifts…
4. Favorite questions of the week.
q: what helped you move through your anxiety?
a: when I started HBH I put all my anxious energy into building it. It was the best thing I could have done. I suddenly had a purpose and a huge focus that wasn’t just school (what made me most anxious). Finding something I loved and was able to put all my energy into helped me sooo much.
q: what are you thankful for? thank you for sharing your recipes with us.
a: I’m so thankful for you all. Honestly, you guys really blew me away this past week with your response to the cookbook announcement. I said this on Instagram a few days ago, but I truly wasn’t expecting all the excitement. I’d been dragging my feet on announcing HBH Every Day for a good week. I had so many people from our team bugging me to announce the book, but I was just so nervous. So I pushed it back as long as I could. But wow, I was so, so, so presently surprised.
And then, my family and our health. I know everyone says this but I really am so thankful for my HUGE and growing family. I love that we all actually enjoy each other’s company. And that we want to spend holidays and vacations together. I love how chaotic we are, and I love how not perfect we are. But more than anything I’m super thankful for our health. We’re all happy, healthy, and together…so thankful that!!
q: best stocking stuffer for someone who likes to cook?
a: a mini whisk + a spatula (my favorite is the St. Jude spatula from Willams-Sonoma). I use the mini whisk every day, I feel like it’s so underrated.
q: favorite Christmas movie?
a: could never pick just one. But I’ve always loved The Santa Clause (all of them ), The Grinch, Miracle on 34th Street, and Eloise at Christmas Time. Oh, plus Elf, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation…I literally could go on and on.
q: must have cocktail accessories?
a: I’m so basic, but this works for me…I really just like to use a mason jar to mix/shake everything. The only thing I’ve bought for cocktails that are pretty funare different shapes of ice cube molds (like spheres, diamonds and giant cubes). The one time I tried to use a cocktail shaker, it ended up all over the kitchen…simple is best for me.
q: do you enjoy Christmas music?
a: I love everything Christmas…so yes of course, but I love the classics. I’m not really into the pop stuff.
q: favorite Christmas Eve recipe?
a: my mom’s Christmas Eve Chex mix.
5. How to have a “Christmas Day” + Christmas week ideas.
Every year since we’ve lived in Colorado, Asher and I have had a “Christmas Day”. It’s something we both look forward to every year. Back when I had a little more time, we’d usually do them for a full day sometime in mid-December. Now that things are busy, we’ve started having our day on Christmas Eve.
Asher makes a list of to-do’s and we try to check off as many as possible. It’s such a fun thing for just the two of us to do. So I’m sharing her list in case you guys need any ideas for Christmas week activities with kids and adults.
– make cookie boxes
– homemade simple syrups for gifts or your holiday cocktails
– do something nice for someone, just something small
– make the house smell like Christmas with homemade potpourri
– decorate a gingerbread house…we’re going to make a cinnamon stick log cabin style house this year
– Christmas movie marathon
– wrap Christmas gifts
– make ornaments
– bake some Christmas cookies…we love these monster cookies.
– make some last-minute DIY gifts…my favorite is a cozy hot chocolate mug (my directions are below)
– games after dinner…any favorites you recommend??
– sleigh rides to dinner
what fun things do you all do Christmas week?
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mugs
(so cute and a fun, easy last-minute gift too)
What You Need: cute mugs, a roll of cellophane, ribbon, gift tags, and homemade cocoa mix.
Dry Cocoa Mix (makes about 4 cups)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon flaky salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
To Complete the Mugs: cut the cellophane into large squares, then fit the square of cellophane inside each mug. Fill the mugs up with cocoa mix, top with marshmallows or candies, and then tie a cute ribbon at the top to seal the mix inside. Decorate as desired!
Be sure to include a note on how to mix up the perfect mug of hot chocolate. I simply write out the directions on a notecard and gift it alongside the mug.
For One Mug of Cocoa: combine 1 1/2 cups warm milk and 1/3 cup cocoa mix together until steaming. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
6. Book tour, Five Mary’s Farms + Charity of the week.
We are planning the book tour for HBH Every Day and I’m curious what cities you all live in and what major cities you’d be able to travel to for an event. We can’t stop at every city, so I want to try and pick the best ones!
Also, anything you’d love to see me do with this newest book once it is released? I’d love to hear your guy’s ideas!
Five Mary’s Farms:
We love Five Mary’s Farms based in Fort Jone’s, California. They reached out on Instagram a couple of years ago and we’ve really loved their meats ever since. Not only is the quality and taste of the meat the best there is, but what I love even more is how they treat their animals. The animals roam freely and graze their California grasses. Brian and Mary’s ranching methods and beliefs help to preserve and protect the land and respect the animals.
Creighton is particularly obsessed, so much so that he actually requested Five Mary’s ribeyes for Christmas Eve dinner. You can order their meats online and they’re shipped frozen to your door, which is honestly so convenient. Less to worry about at the store!
Charity: B4BC – Boarding for Breast Cancer
B4BC’s mission is triple-focused. 1. to prepare young people with education on early detection. 2. to promote the importance of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle as the best means of breast cancer prevention. And 3. to provide survivor support for those affected by breast cancer.
You can donate here.
7. Favorite links I’m loving…
…absolutely love the design and styling of this house, simple, but cozy.
What To Read This Holiday Season…if you love a good holiday book.
…would love to vacation here.
….such a cozy and perfect mountain home. The knitting room is magical too.
…I need all the secrets.
…love these creative DIY projects.
…all are beautiful, but the Telluride home is stunning.
…it’s Christmas vacation, break out the sleds.
…I have to agree, I love her style.
…Romania and Okavango Delta, Botswana would be amazing.
…writing my day out is a must.
8. The coziest slippers for long holiday nights.
9. This week’s dinners + weekend eats…
Wednesday: Pesto Tortellini Zuppa Toscana
Saturday: Pull Apart Christmas Tree Garlic Bread