Nine Favorite Things
One week away and so much to share – happy July you guys! I took last week off from sharing a favorite’s post since Monday was the 4th. I just felt like many of us were off vacationing and busy enjoying summer.
I’m excited to be back and have so much to share! Let’s start by backing up to where I left off two weeks ago. I headed to New York for a day of meetings in the city. I can’t share details just yet, but I’m so excited about the project we are working on. I’ll be able to share more later this summer, but let’s just say, I’m especially excited for this fall. This is a project I genuinely love so much and feel so much excitement for!
I had an amazing day in the city despite the downpour of rain. I spent the morning with Kelli Anne, who did my makeup for the day. I’ve followed her on Instagram for a while, so it was really fun to finally meet. She’s incredible if you ever need your makeup done in New York. Not only does she do amazing work, but the added bonus is her incredible energy. It really sets you up for success with whatever event you’re heading off to. So positive and just a ray of sunshine.
I left the hotel (stayed at The NY Edition, which, of course, is always amazing – I love that hotel) and headed straight into a 3+ hour meeting. Then back to the hotel for a little work time before heading back out again. I went to a fun dinner meeting at a really cool spot called Saint Theos that went late into the night. Nothing to share just yet, but I have a good feeling about the last half of July and August. I think they’re going to be pretty great! And that was pretty much New York.
I was up early and off to the airport for a flight to Mexico to meet up with my family. I flew into Puerto Vallarta, then took a car an hour north to Sayulita. Full recap of the trip below since there are so many photos to share (see favorite #5)!
And now I’m home, getting back into the swing of things. Majorly shopping the Nordstrom sale, working to plan some more trips, and feeling excited about fall. But yet still soaking in summer as much as possible.
I added a new “things i’m loving, wanting, and excited to try” category that I’m calling “everything in my cart”. I personally LOVE this. Adding items to shopping carts is something I do all week long. It’s kind of my guilty pleasure. But it’s rare when I actually pull the trigger and buy the items in my carts. Often it’s because they are designer pieces that I just dream of owning. I know this section will not be for everyone. But if you enjoy looking through designer styles like I do, this is for you. If not, just skip over and find all my affordable dupes elsewhere in the post.
Enjoy this week’s favorites, I have so many links to share after skipping last week. I’ve accumulated a lot of new favorites! Have fun clicking through!
1. Things i’m loving, wanting, and excited to try.
Loving…simple things that make me happy. Hopping into bed every night. Waking up with the sun when it literally shines into my bedroom bright and early. Hiking every morning. Excitement for travel. One-on-one time with my mom (I somehow managed to steal her for a good hour in Mexico while Oslo napped). Walking around the neighborhood as the sun sets. Coming home at night and opening the windows to hear birds singing. Lighting candles at night. My daily skincare routine that feels like a wind-down from the day. And my nightly scroll through all the fashion sites – adding items to my cart. Like I said a guilty pleasure.
everything in my cart…mid range/affordable (again, not saying I have bought all of these items, it’s just what I like. Take what you enjoy, leave what you don’t). These SLVRLAKE white jeans. I love me a white jean. These Ganni slides in black, but will probably opt for these flip flops from & other stories. Love this Reformation dress with their block sandals in black, really fun color/print. Also, this tube top and wide leg jean. This Free People dress in nutmeg would be cute with the Ganni slides. Ordering these Zara jean shorts and woven sandals. This Miaou midi skirt is already in my closet. Love this &other stories striped sweater. And ordering basics from Abercrombie. The essential easy tee (I’m going to live in this tee, got the black, white, and dark brown). Love the style of their 90’s high rise jean. And you can never have too many white tanks, love the look of this fit. This one shoulder top is really cute too. Also, this tie back dress is a great wedding guest dress option. And lastly, this mini dress is amazing for every day.
listening to…It Sure is a Beautiful day with Catt Saddler. Well, to be honest, I have not listened to this because the episode is with me! I had such a nice conversation with Catt. She asks such amazing questions that many have never asked me previously. If you’re interested in hearing more from me, you can listen here.
dreaming of going…. Most of the locations on this list look amazing. Especially Greece, Santa Barbara, Paris, and Switzerland.
curious about…Sweet Lorens. I just discovered this brand, but they make healthier store-bought sweet options. I do love the idea of a buy-and-bake chocolate chip cookie pack. It’s kind of like Pillsbury, just better for you. Has anyone baked these? You can order online or find in a store.
reading…5 Summer Books You Need To Read Right Now. Love these recommendations. What are you reading?
burning…so many candles at the moment. My favorite for summer is the Snif birds and the breeze. Also, I just received NETTE candles, and they smell wonderful. The laide tomate scent smells like summertime. Love that both of these brands are clean and sustainable.
loving…new Zara Home finds. Love these casual wood folding chairs for the outdoors. These throw pillow covers are so nice. This narrow wood bench is super pretty for outside, or even inside at the end of a bed or in an entry. How comfy do these seat cushions look? So luxurious. I would love to fill this utility basket with flowers, that would be so pretty. Thinking of ordering these recycled glasses for cocktails. This glass pitcher measuring cup is so similar to a vintage one that I have that everyone always asks about. This is the perfect pouf for summer lounging. And I just ordered these glass tumblers with raised lines as well as this steel trey. Oh, and these floral tumblers are especially cute for summer.
loving…this Sloth Rug. SO CUTE. Would be adorable in a kid’s room or fun for an office.
listening to…Farm to Face: Tata Harper on Building her Luxury Skincare Line. I’ve shared my love for the Tata Harper brand many times, but this podcast episode really, really sold me. Such an incredible line of skincare and if you listen to the story behind the brand, you’ll be impressed too. I really loved this conversation.
ordered…Wood Handled Foot Scraper. This is not exciting or glamorous by any means, but I ordered this last night and have high hopes. My dry feet are always an issue, even in the summer. Really hope this helps!
thinking of ordering…Travel Garment Steamer. Worth it? Or are wrinkles in clothes really not a big deal?
wanting to try…new beauty products. Curious about Klur overnight enrichment cream (for anti-aging). Chantecaille detox clay mask with rosemary and honey (for reducing pore size and hydration). And then these Peter Thomas Roth 24K gold eye patches (for anti-aging).
loving…the Girasale Bracelet. This is so sweet. I don’t usually go for pieces with so much color, but if I’m wearing neutrals I do love to balance it with a pop of color.
wearing… Suganami by Stephanie Shepard. This Snif fragrance made by Stephanie is so good!! It’s very subtle for every day, warm & earthy with rose scents. It’s really nice for summer days/nights. As a newbie to the fine fragrance world, I’ve been loving it.
loving…the Louis Vuitton LV Twist bag. One of the only LV bags I’ve ever become obsessed with, love this bag.
listening to…Work Smarter by Leaning into your Human Design. This concept is so fascinating. Excited to learn more!
curious about…Wordaful the Game. Love the idea behind this game. It would be fun to play with the family on our next trip.
everything in my cart…designer favorites (just for fun). The color of this By Far shoulder bag is perfection. Also love these heels, the brown shade is so good. The shape of this Bottega Veneta crossbody bag is super cute and fun, the color is great if you want something to really make your outfit pop. If I was going to purchase a new Bottega bag, however, I’d go for something a little more timeless like this crossbody in white or the small metal loops shoulder bag in fondant. Staying with the bags, I think this blue Altuzarra braided bag is so cute, it’s been in my cart all week. OK, and lastly on the bags, I’ve wanted this Khaite leather tote for the longest time and am obsessed with this The Row tote bag. Incredible basics. I love these Wardrobe NYC shorts (the blue is especially pretty), but would never order and would instead get these Alo dupes. I love the back of this Proenza Shoulder halter dress (open backs get me every time). It comes in yellow too. I think this Gucci silk midi dress is sweet and pretty. And this Christopher Esber apron midi dress is so perfect for any summer night – dress it up, dress it down.
2. The most popular recipes of June.
Also have to mention:
My Personal Favorite:
3. Nordstrom Anni Preview Sale – Home + Beauty.
4. Favorite questions of the week.
q: what did you go to therapy for (if that’s ok to ask?)?
a: always happy to share! I had a lot of anxiety as a kid/teen in general, but mainly towards going to school. My mom tried a therapist but ultimately it wasn’t the right fit for me personally. I ended up having to work through things in my own way, which was probably way harder. But I’m happy for the struggles I had to go through, they taught me a lot
q: can you talk a little about the business aspects of HBH? Did it always do well financially?
a: when we started 9 1/2 years ago things were different. The blogging space was still somewhat newer. Blogging sites were mostly just a hobby. People were still trying to figure out how to make money off them. Somehow, within 6 months I had daily readers, which I thought was insane. By the end of year 1 we were making money from ads in the sidebar, but not much at all. But by the end of year 2 is when I would say that we began to realize that this could become a business.
q: is the Dr. Dennis Gross red light mask worth it? How has it helped your skin?
a: it’s worth it! when I started using it a little over a year ago, I was having a lot of breakouts. The blue light works to remove acne bacteria and prevent future breakouts. The red light is for aging and discoloration. I use both lights and I’m not kidding, I haven’t had any breakouts since I started using the mask. Asher has typical teen acne. The mask has really, really helped to clear her skin up too. We both love it
q: tips for coating treats in chocolate without so much waste?
a: use a fork and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl, then scrape the bottom of the fork along the edge of the bowl to clean it off
q: do you think you want to stay in the cooking/recipe biz for a long time or do you see yourself going in a new direction such as fashion or design?
a: definitely don’t see myself not cooking and sharing recipes. I love to share that style of content with you guys. I love that I can help solve the never-ending “what to make for dinner” question. That said, I’m realizing that in order to stay creative (and excited) I also have to include the other things I love – fashion, design, and day-to-day life. I’m excited to continue to share with you guys not only food but design and other fun things too. I know some are put off/annoyed by different content, but I have to keep it interesting/exciting. I get bored way too easily.
q: best beach vacations for a large family? Suggestions – all-inclusive?
a: we love Mexico. It can be relatively cheap if you find a house to rent (we always use Vrbo). Then everyone who’s able to can chip in. As mentioned, this year we rented a house in Sayulita. Last summer we did Cabo. We’ve also rented in Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen. We’ve never done an all-inclusive though!
q: do you cook on vacation? Curious to see how you make do in a different kitchen! I find it tough.
a: Yes, all the time! When we do big family trips we only go out a few nights. My dad and I usually tag team (or whoever else is on the trip that likes to cook). In Miami, we only ate out a handful of times. We cooked up tacos, chicken fettuccine, peppers, pasta, and pizza. And all in the kitchen of our condo that we rented through Vrbo at the 1 Hotel. The other nights we ate out (sushi, pizza, Cuban, and burgers).
q: how many followers did you start with and how long until you started growing?
a: well, I started with 0 but over 6 months I slowly started to see growth. From there the following continued to build, fortunately, going up with every year! It’s taken 9 1/2 years to get to that number you now see. It’s definitely not an overnight thing.
q: current favorite Netflix binges?
a: honestly, I don’t watch tv (I would, it’s just that there’s no time). I did however watch The Perfect Pairing! It took me 3 nights because I edit photos at the same time, multitasking ? lol. It’s cute. Cheesy, of course, but still cute if you love a rom-com.
q: looking for some inexpensive wedding centerpiece inspo?
a: I’d line the table with eucalyptus, then arrange low tea light candles down the center. I’d put the candles in vintage/random tiny cups you have lying around. Or you can buy some cheap at a thrift store. Then fill in with short vases/drinking glasses with the bride’s favorite flower. Or if you’re lucky, flowers picked from the yard. Obviously, this will depend on the size of the wedding. I also love using fruits, like figs, pomegranates, and stone fruits to make pretty centerpieces.
q: how to deal with toxic people in your life? Dealing with this now.
a: this is easier said than done, but unless it’s someone who’s blood-related (as in your siblings or someone close to you), it’s time to let them go and distance yourself. If it’s a longtime friend, explore new activities that will allow you to meet new people. If you can’t seem to grow beyond the toxicity after some distance, grow apart. I don’t have the perfect answer for this. It can be tricky and each situation is different and difficult. But give yourself space. I’m sorry that you’re dealing with this.
q: so do you live on a farm? I saw goats!
a: no, definitely not a farm. We just have goats and chickens. We’re not a farm by any means, but I will say that I’m dying to get horses soon.
5. The family trip to Sayulita, Mexico.
Except for 2020, when we went to Key West, this is now the 4th summer in a row that my family has vacationed in Mexico. Every year I say that we need to venture to a new country, but I guess, at the end of the day, my fam loves a good Mexico vacation (honestly, we would have fun anywhere warm with sunshine).
This year, we chose Sayulita, a small town right on the ocean. My mom wanted to find a location that would allow the boys to surf and wasn’t too far from an airport. Sayulita ended up being the perfect quaint little surf town. We all had fun exploring, eating, and shopping. I think it would also make an awesome day or maybe 2-day trip if you’re vacationing in Puerto Vallarta.
(mine and Asher’s room)
(the dining area)
(streets of Sayulita)
(the top level is so pretty)
(we kind of lived in the pool)
(Hailey and Brendan)
(the living room)
(dad and Oslo)
The house was really unique in that it’s built into a hill over 5 acres. Instead of one big home, there were three large palapas, all on the top part of the hill. And then smaller individual casitas (which felt super special) that were built into the hill. Asher and I particularly appreciated the bathrooms. Very minimal, chic, and clean, with lots of natural stones and glass. Every Casita was slightly different, but each was so beautiful.
The main areas, the kitchen, dining area, living area, and pool were all on the top level. This is where we spent most of our time together. This wonderful home has daily maid service and 2 caretakers who live on the property. For a very reasonable fee, you can have any meals that you’d like prepared. A continental breakfast is provided (so nice) so we ate our breakfasts in. We did lunches on our own, but Marianna cooked dinner for us on multiple nights. It was such a nice option, and for me personally, a really nice break from cooking. The food was delicious and the menu options were wonderful. There was something for everyone.
(living room + pool)
(Hailey and Cait)
(Red and Hailey)
(dad and Oslo)
(Red and Oslo)
We love renting through Vrbo when we do these big family trips. My mom cherishes (yep, that’s the word I picked) all of us being together, as opposed to being separated in hotel rooms. And since we like to eat all of our breakfast in, and most lunches too, having a kitchen is key. Plus, now that we’ve got 3 babies in the fam (and another on the way), having a place with a kitchen to store/cook food is a must.
Booking a house through Vrbo allows us to find exactly what we need. It just works really well for us.
And as you can tell from all the photos, we had the best time!
I will say the town is small, but towards the end of our stay, we started to explore even deeper and found a bit more in San Francisco, which is just the town over.
(Oslo and Creighton)
(Red and Bud + Creighton and Oslo)
(Dad and Mom)
We ate a lot of chips and guacamole, fresh fish, tacos, and plenty of fresh fruit. It was such a nice stay. We had plenty of sunshine (and one giant storm that came in on the second to last night). It was so darn hot that we actually appreciated the clouds when they rolled in. Thank goodness we rented a Vrbo home with a pool and near the beach!
I included a ton of photos because, as I’ve said, it was so beautiful! And with 18-ish people, the photos were being snapped non-stop!
6. Inspiring me – our most pinned quotes.
As I was looking through Pinterest this week I quickly realized something. Aside from popular recipes, the photos that have been the most pinned are the photos I reshare from Pinterest. Quotes, flowers, home decor, and fashion. So I thought it might be nice to share the popular ones all in one place. I love each of these!
(I dream about having a greenhouse like the above)
(working to remember this quote any time I have doubts)
(such a pretty bouquet)
(hard work always feels good at the end of the day, love this quote)
(would love to visit this place, wherever that is)
(cute outfit idea for a summer vacation dinner)
(dahlias are my favorite – the autumn harvest season is so special)
7. Favorite links i’m loving.
…wow, the kitchen.
6 Mini New York Itineraries…fun, I need to do these all.
…these honestly all sound great.
New Shows and Movies We’ll Be Watching This Month…what are you watching?
…love the indoor-outdoor vibe.
…is another kitchen.
…enjoyed reading this.
…love a simple, no-pressure summer list.
…this is fun.
…so many people seem to be moving this summer.
…when do you work best?
…love these, especially the Staud bags.
..peaceful and beautiful.
…if you’re heading to the Hamptons.
…fun ideas if you love an IKEA purchase.
‘…I’m seeing this book everywhere, have you read it?
8. Nordstrom Anni Preview Sale – Clothes + Shoes + Bags.
9. This week’s dinners + weekend eats.