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Hey guys! Happiest Sunday Funday! And thanks for joining me on another Nine Favorite Things post!

Blueberry Vanilla Greek Yogurt Granola Bars | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

{my favorite blueberry vanilla greek yogurt granola bars to make on Sunday}

Hope everyone’s weekend is going great. So far, mine has been jam-packed. I’m excited to spend some time today just catching up a bit and preparing for a photo shoot I have first thing tomorrow. If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat then you know that on Friday I headed to Salt Lake City to speak at the Everything Food Conference. I did a quick in and out trip, arriving Friday night for a fun Cinco de Mayo party, spoke on Saturday Morning (was so nervous, but it went great), and then headed back home to Colorado in the afternoon. My mom and little miss Asher were nice enough to come and pick me up in Denver, so I got to spend two hours talking with them on the drive home, which was awesome.

How about you guys? Is the weather becoming warm and spring like? I’ve seen a lot of people already posting that it feels like summer, so my fingers are crossed that most of you are getting plenty of sunshine!

Anyway, here are today’s nine favorite things! See ya all tomorrow for a delicious and easy dinner that will also double as the perfect Mother’s Day meal!

1. My family and I are headed to San Diego on Friday for my cousin’s graduation. I’m pretty excited for a couple of days in the sun with the people I love best. I’m wondering if you guys have suggestions of what we should be doing, eating, and seeing while there. I’ve been to San Diego once before, but it was for work so I didn’t really get to explore. What are all the best San Diego adventures?! On the Monday after, I’ll be heading up to LA for work, but that will most likely be a quick trip…not quite all planned out yet

2. Mother’s Day is just a week from today, what are you guys making? I’m hoping to take over my cousin’s kitchen (Abby, Mathew…that cool?), and make a big spread for everyone. Since I’ll be in San Diego I’ll have to keep things simple. I might try to pull off this Moroccan Brunch spread. But considering that I’ll be playing it by ear, I haven’t developed an exact plan. If I were home, I would be making this french toast and these scones, since they’re some of my mom’s favorites. And then for lunch we’d do this farro salad with a side of honey raspberry brie crostini. For dinner? Well, I am actually posting my mom’s favorite meal tomorrow, but as another suggestion you might want to start with this Meze Platter and then also make this pretty asparagus salad with this cuban grilled salmon. For cocktails, this fun tropical hibiscus rum smash or this strawberry chamomile paloma. OH, and then for dessert? Definitely this zebra cake.

Be sure to check back all week for a few more recipes. I’ll be featuring some of my mom’s personal favorites!

Farro Tabbouleh with Burrata and Hummus | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

{farro tabbouleh with burrata and hummus}

3. If you guys read Tuesday’s post, then you may remember how I talked a bit about some of the anxiety I have been feeling lately. I got such incredibly kind and encouraging comments, I am always in awe of you guys, thank you! I think one of things I haven’t shared extensively is my long history with anxiety. I struggled with anxiety throughout my teenage years and truthfully, this blog is what broke me out of my shell and helped to rid me of a lot of my anxious feelings. Lately though, that anxiousness has come back. I think it’s mostly due to all the things I have coming up with the release of the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook. With exciting things also comes fear, self-doubt, and just a heck of a lot of anxiety. I don’t want to get into it all, but really I just wanted to tell you guys what’s up because I think a lot of you can probably relate. Social media tends to only show the pretty parts of my life, but I’m human too, and just like you guys, I have my struggles. If you can relate to what I am saying here, what do you do to deal with your stresses and fears? I would love to know if you guys might like reading a post on this topic? It’s something super close to me, as I mentioned I’ve struggled with it for as long as I can remember, but sometimes having a platform to discuss issues can be helpful. Through the years I’ve learned a thing or two about keeping my head up and pushing through, which is what I’m doing now, because even though I’m anxious, I couldn’t be more excited or grateful about what life is bringing me…but man it can be scary!

4. Speaking of exciting things…I’ve been so exited to share with you guys something really fun that I’ll be doing this week. Before I head to San Diego, on Wednesday I am off to Nashville. I will be doing a couple LIVE cooking segments on Today in Nashville. I’ll be on both Thursday and Friday morning and will be making some Mother’s Day brunch recipes, plus chatting about the release of the cookbook! I’m pretty excited, but you guys, my real concern…what should I wear?

5. New videos: buffalo chicken quinoa salad, super easy crockpot carne asada tacos, and for something sweet churro waffles.

6. I’m currently working on a behind the scenes project that I will reveal to you guys in a few months (really excited about it). I can’t give details just yet, but it does involve some kitchen designing. Which of course has taken me to Pinterest for new ideas. I have a few open shelves in the barn, and for the most part I do love them, but I’m glad I didn’t make all of my shelving open…you need somewhere to hide all the clutter, you know? Anyway, I found this post on open shelving really fun to scroll through. From top to bottom, the third, fourth and then second to last photos are my favorite sets ups. What’s your favorites? Any kitchen trends you guys are loving that I need to know about?

7. Summer is quickly approaching and I am pretty excited, but summertime in the Colorado mountains is a little different. It’s beyond beautiful, but just a smidge on the cold side for me. I love that ninety degree heat. Yes, for real. This summer I’m hoping to maybe plan a fun trip somewhere. Asher is dying to go to Italy, so that’s one idea. But I found this post on the best summer travel destinations pretty inspiring. Egypt and the Canary Islands look pretty amazing to me. Also, if you wanted to stay in the US, here are some fun summertime road trips. Mackinac Island, MI and Idyllwild, CA look pretty fun to me!

8. Favorite pin/style finds of the week: straw bags are my new obsession for spring/summer, I’d really like to get one. But this bamboo bag is my absolute favorite! Also, I’d like to make this outfit is my new summer uniform.

9. This week’s dinners: 

Avocado Veggie Spring Rolls with Sweet Thai Mango Sauce,

Avocado Veggie Spring Rolls with Sweet Thai Mango Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Healthier Oven Fried Sweet Tea Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Healthier Oven Fried Sweet Tea Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

30 Minute Asian Basil Beef and Mango Noodle Salad

30 Minute Asian Basil Beef and Mango Noodle Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor

Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

20 Minute Brown Butter Chunky Basil Pesto Pasta

20 Minute Brown Butter Chunky Basil Pesto Pasta | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Bonus: 10 Minute Magical Chocolate Almond Butter Superfood Seed Bars

10 Minute Magical Chocolate Almond Butter Superfood Seed Bars | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Check out all the past Favorites posts here.

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Comments

  1. Hey, T: Not an expert but I have heard that people tend to suffer from varying degrees of anxiety mostly due to fears about the past or future and have heard that mindfulness really helps. I think as people become more self aware, often as they get more mature, they become more overwhelmed at their place in the world and at the realization that adults that we look(ed) up to don’t have their act all together. They are just as human as the inexperienced teenagers, in some cases, teenagers are more mature than the “adults” (don’t get me started about our current POTUS). When I get overwhelmed, I write it down, whether it’d 1) be a list of the things I have to do (break it down into little itty bitty manageable steps) and then prioritize which is most important and just focus on the most important at that moment, or 2) write down about what stresses me out. Writing it down helps me. And exercise. Walking in nature helps me realize how big the world it, so much bigger it is than all the problems that are running thru my head. But you are going through a big stage in your Life, launching this amazing new cookbook. And a book launch and tour probably sounds overwhelming and miles away from your cozy barn at home. Know that there are complete strangers out that LOVE you and your work. I already preordered your book and told my fam I wanted it for Mother’s Day (hint. hint.) The teenagers were just happy they didn’t have to wrack their brain for MD gift ideas! I was traveling when I first saw this post and didn’t get to respond until now when I was scouring for a new recipe to try for the fam tonight (we LOVE your recipes and photos, always make me drool) and your raw, organic way of sharing your family and all the stuff that happens (good and bad) just demonstrates your humanness and reminds us we don’t all have photo-ready lives. I commend you for sharing your struggles with anxiety and hope that it just opens up the door for those that suffer from the same issue (and there are A LOT of them, I know) to know that they are not alone. The world needs more people like you. Kudos to your parents for raising such a brave, accomplished, “whole” young woman. Now off to buy ingredients for Korean Bulgogi BBQ Steak Bowls tonight! Thx for the recipe!

    1. Hey Jean! Thank you SO much for all these great tips/tricks. I really appreciate your kind and thoughtful comment!I to love making a list of things that I have to do, but I am going to try writing down what it is that stresses me out. I think this will be so helpful! Thank you again and enjoy the bowls! 🙂

  2. Just found your blog after seeing you on Talk of the Town. Everything looks amazing, so happy I found you! When does your book come out? Oh you looked really cute btw, and did a great job! We are totally making those croissants this weekend ?

    1. Thank you so much Liane! Your so nice!
      My book comes out in September!
      Hope you love the croissants (:

  3. Yoga helps me manage stress! I did yoga videos for about a year before taking a class in person, and I recently found a great instructor and class and it is SO much better in person!! So calming and changes your perspective. I look forward to it all week, and during the week if I feel stressed I take a few deep breaths and it helps me a lot.

  4. San Diego native here. El Cuervo on University for amazing low key, authentic Mexican food, better than El Indio, no matter what you read or hear. I still love a day at Balboa Park. The museums and weekend activities make it worth it. They have a very impressive (world famous) and gorgeous zoo. Old Town is touristy, but still a local favorite for hanging out. The old town trolley is the way to go and has hop on hop off will take you to Coronado, Old Town and Balboa park. No parking necessary. I agree with the previous poster the Torrey Pines Park is some great hiking with the some of the most beautiful views you will see in San Diego.

    1. Need the authentic Mexican for course! I have to check out the zoo!
      All sounds amazing hopefully I can check some of it out! Thank you Michelle!

  5. I’ve been to Tenerife last year and visited Italy several times (just came from a trip to Venice, but also visited Toscana, Sicily and more). In my opinion Egypt is exotic, but currently, a bit of a risk to travel there, and tourist exploring may be limited. Italy and the Canary Island are fantastic. The Canary Islands are warm, with abundant tropical fruit, and great volcanic scenery. I can help you if you need any more info on the two…. If you’re looking to Europe I would also recommend Portugal (I LOVE it). Do try and visit in June or September, as July & August can be uncomfortably hot & crowded in the Mediterranean.

    1. The Canary islands sound amazing! They all do really! Thank you so much for the tips on them all (:

  6. I left a long-ish comment before about anxiety and how analyzing it from a logical and psychological perspective have helped me control mine, so I won’t rehash it here. Read about neuroplasticity when you have a moment, if you haven’t already; it’s the ability for us to rewire our brains. The brain is very good at pruning old synaptic pathways that haven’t been used in awhile. Example – something you used to be very good at as a child, haven’t done in years, and forgot how to do? Your brain pruned those pathways. Eventually I hope you won’t have been anxious in such a long time, your brain will have “forgotten” how to be. It’s a happy thought.

    Biga in downtown San Diego on Sixth is AMAZING if you like Italian food. (And, um, cheese and pasta carbs? Have these featured prominently in your life? :P) Lucha Libre or Puesto for gourmet tacos, or Las Cuatros Milpas way down south for authentic ones.

    For what I like to call “recreational grocery shopping”, the Asian district of Convoy Street and surrounding area are great for shopping for rare ingredients or props, and if you want to visit a slightly even higher end Whole Foods-type store, Lazy Acres Natural Market in Encinitas is fun to explore. They have a build-your-own poke bar and live bees producing honey (!!) right in the store. Bristol Farms in La Jolla is their standard high end gourmet grocery store sister store. I bought some burrata by a brand called Gioia at Lazy Acres which was absolutely life-changing – presumably Bristol Farms carries it, too – best I’ve ever had, and I’ve tried a number of different brands.

    And for (slightly less interesting compared to food shopping) clothing shopping, Fashion Valley mall has just about everything mid-range and some high end.

    Crystal Pier on Pacific Beach (call it “PB”, not Pacific Beach, if you want to sound like a local) and Belmont Park are about as quintessentially photo-op as they come.

    Have a great time while you’re in San Diego! I live in Carmel Valley here and I’d love to tell you in person how much I love your blog, and how very uniquely rarely talented you are, but I’m also an INTERNET STRANGER. I keep my distance from strangers, too. 😛

    1. Hi Christine!! I read your comment an greatly appreciated it! I am flying tomorrow and plan to read all about neuroplasticity. Thank you again for letting me in on this! 🙂

      AND oh my gosh, all of these San Diego recommendations! I totally do not have enough time to eat and see everything! Going to do some researching tomorrow now too! Cannot wait! You are honestly just the sweetest! 🙂

  7. I live in San Diego! Restaurant recommendations: Breakfast Republic (such a yummy and creative menu), love the acai bowl at Swami’s, for Mexican food try Puesto. Also check out Liberty Public Market.

    If you have time to hike, go to Torrey Pines for an incredible view. Or check out Cowles Mountain, which is the highest peak in the city.

    Hope you have a great time! San Diego is an amazing city!

  8. I’m dying to try the blueberry yogurt granola bars and avocado spring rolls! And Egypt sounds so cool!!

  9. For a place to eat in San Diego,
    El Zarape in University Heights. They still sell $1 fish tacos and their shrimp and/or scallop burritos and tacos are AMAZING! Also,

  10. I’m glad you opened up about anxiety. It has such a stigma since people forget we all have problems. Exercise changed my life. Five or six years ago, I really struggled to leave the house, and now I love getting out and enjoying life. I have crossed many things off my list of things I was too afraid to do. Exposure therapy also really helped me. In it,you slowly introduce the things you are afraid of into your life. I used to be afraid of things that came in the mail (weird, I know), but one day I touched something that came in the mail. Then I wore a pair of shoes for 5 minutes and so on. It’s typically how I cope now. The only thing I still really, struggle with is being around sick people and traveling, but I’m pretty happy with where I am at. xo

    1. Thank you! It was hard but i;m doing okay with it now! I hear a lot about exercise helping and I totally agree!
      We have a lot of the same struggles, its so nice to hear your not alone (:

  11. I live in San Diego! The Little Italy Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings is so fun and they have lots of yummy produce, if you have the time to check it out. We’re having some rain right now but everything should be all lush and green and cleared up by the time you get here 🙂

    Have fun!

    1. That sounds amazing! I hope I can manage to check it out!
      So excited hopefully its nice out!! Thanks Sam!

  12. The two places we went to when we were in San Diego are:

    Urban Solace (dinner):
    3823 30th St San Diego, CA 92104, (619) 295-6464

    Cafe 21 (breakfast) cafe-21.com
    Gaslamp district. Their French Toast is to die for ?.

    Have fun!

    Melanie x

  13. Excited to read that you will be in Nashville later this week. We’ve had some unseasonably cold weather here. Comfy traveler pants, a nice shell or t, and a light sweater/top would be perfect for moving about. I am guessing you already know what works best in studio – especially when prepping/cooking for your segments. Happy cooking!

  14. As someone who has struggled with anxiety for a long time, I think a post on how you manage your anxiety would be great! I’ve found that my anxiety can be kept at bay if I focus on doing the following most days: eating healthy (especially limiting sugar), being active, meditating (even if it’s just for a few minutes), and spending time with or talking to people I love.

    Also, as a life-long Michigander, I highly recommend Mackinac Island (or Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore if you’re willing to venture further north)

    1. yes! I totally agree with all of those! Just need to stay focused for me!
      Thanks Olivia! I love the suggestions on where to go!

  15. I’ve been to both Egypt and the Canary Is. Was lucky to have the chance when in the AF. If you choose Egypt, don’t be afraid to be a tourist! Go to the pyramids, take a boat up the Nile to Luxor etc. If you just want to kick back and relax OR party and be pampered … then head for the Canaries. Great hotels, beautiful beaches and scenery. They know how to take care of visitors.