Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Live While We're Young

I know we've been MIA during the month of April. There are several factors - busy schedule and lots of celebration! April is my (Mrs. H) birth month and our anniversary month (whoo hoo)! So, it's always a big month here in the Casa de H. Thus, the blog was pushed aside and we prioritize celebrating life. After a month away from the blog, I realized that it was a good time to start rethinking priorities. 

This week, a friend was talking about prioritizing time by focusing on "faith, hope, and love." She and her husband have decided they are only going to commit to things that result in faith, hope, or love. I thought that was such an awesome way to look at priorities. Because no matter where you are in life, your schedule can control you. And, I for one, want to look back on this life and say I really lived it... not look back and think my schedule of pointless things ruled me. 

After all these deep thoughts about priorities, I came across this blog. It furthered my thoughts about why I do the things I do. At the end of the post, the author asks, "What will you DO and NOT DO to advance your cause in work, love, mission, calling... DREAMS?" 

When I read that, I realized Mr.&Mrs.H (the business & blog - not us as a couple... I know, it gets confusing) was a great thing for us in the past year, but things have shifted. In this new season of working to see our city grow, the blog & business is now something that's pulling me away from my current work and mission at hand.  There are times to let go of things you love in order to serve a greater vision. And, this seems like one of those times. We are going to shut down the website and probably not post much on the blog because although hospitality is a great love for us and one we will continue to pursue in a future season, it's not what we need to do now. This moment in our short lives is one that is devoted to digging our roots down deep in our city to see growth here. And, that's worth sacrificing things we love like travel and working with amazing clients. 

Johnnyswim (some of my favorite artists) just came out with a new album yesterday, I loved the song Live While We're Young (sidenote: the whole album is killer - you need to get it asap). The lyrics of that song seem to sum up the way Mr. H and I have chosen to live life... taking risks and following the dreams in our heart. No matter how old we are, I hope we always live life like we're young. I also hope that the blog's done more than inspire your travel plans. Hopefully, it's inspired you to go after dreams and live life fully whether in your own city or abroad. No matter where you find yourself, you can always live life on the edge. All in all, I guess this is goodbye. As we make the decision to take things off our plate, I hope it inspires you to do the same. Take time to asses what needs to stay and go in your life so you can truly live.

"Save a place at the table for your daughter and son. We'll be out on the highway, fading quick like the sun. Got my hand on my Bible, firm like a gun. While you pray for revival, I'm already living in one. Won't pass up on the danger, I'd miss out on the fun. Make no mistake, we'll live while we're young. We'll chase down the sun. Hands off the break. We can die when we're done. Let's live while we're young. You can barricade these walls and seek surrender with taunts enough to turn a raging sea, but the only way you'll find to quench these embers is killing me." - Johnnyswim, Live Like We're Young


Friday, April 4, 2014

Local's Look @ Redding, CA | Katie Dobbins

Recently, Mr. H and I took a trip back to Redding, CA - where we lived during our first year of marriage. Its almost been three years since we lived there and there were so many new hot spots. Thus, we enlisted the help of one of Redding's coolest... Katie Dobbins. Not only is this chick beautiful and fun, but she's also one of those dreamers who lives life fully! I can't think of a more perfect person to show us the "bests" of Redding. (Plus, she has mad photography skills, which equals an aesthetically beautiful post.)

{Katie hangin' around town}

{sisters // Allyson & Katie}
MMH: To start, what do you love about Redding?

KD: If I were to say the buzzing epicenter of culture and art, I would be lying. Probably the thing I love the most about Redding, is the fact that all of  my closest friends live within 10 minutes from front door. Or maybe, the fact that our little town is surrounded by mountains, lakes, and rivers, and you can go on a new adventure every day.

MMH: Food+Beverage // Favorite _______?...


My usual go to for any breakfast outing is Déjà Vu cafe. It is tucked away in an old brick building in downtown redding. On most Weekends it is packed with families enjoying a leisurely morning. I am always impressed with their service, and equally impressed with the food! Let's be honest, any excuse to divulge in gluten drowned in syrup is fine by me!


Wildas Grill. The steady line out the door is a testament to the quality of their food. Their menu was designed to meet the dietary needs of vegans, vegetarians, carnivores, and even those with gluten intolerances. Get a Buddah bowl, packed with rice, beans, cabbage, and chicken, add a side of sweet potato fries, and call it day! This place does so well, that they are only open from 11am-4pm Monday-Friday. If you remember to catch them while they're open, you've hit the jackpot!

I’m pretty much always in the mood for Thai. I’ve been to every Thai restaurant in town (that I know of) and have deemed Champa Garden my favorite. The atmosphere isn’t outrageously trendy, but the food is always top-notch. I go there so often, they know my name, my order (yellow curry with chicken), oh… and my cell phone number.

Coffee shop
This one is a toss up. In the past year, two great coffee shops have popped up in town. Before they opened, you could only get high quality espresso from Starbucks… or Starbucks. Let’s just say, if you wanted to get a nice cappuccino or americano you would have to drive at least an hour and half outside of Redding.

Coffee Shop #1 Coffee Bar- This is the local watering hole for all 20 somethings in the Redding area. You can never go wrong with a latte, so my drink of choice is typically just that; or, in the summer, I’ll branch out for with a cold brew.

Coffee Shop #2 Heritage Rosting Co.- If you are up for a 15 minute drive, Heritage is worth the trip. The raw wood and exposed brick make this the perfect nesting spot for an afternoon.

Sky’s Pure Food. (I actually visited this place for the first time with Mr. and Mrs. H). Sky’s is a small business that specializes in clean, raw foods. Their nutrient dense menu does not lack “yumminess”. I can eat a piece of chocolate pie, and feel like I did myself a favor.  

Sweet spot (ice cream, cupcakes, dessert spot, etc)
I would definitely describe myself as an avid dessert lover. If I am in need of a sugar fix, I get a cupcake and gelato from Sweet Spot. The “Diva” cupcake and Cookies and Cream gelato are always a winning combo; however, I went in the other day and tried the “Samoa” gelato, and it looks like Cookies and Cream may need to watch its back. This place is super cute; it has a giant chalkboard for kids (and grown ups) to show off their artistic abilities.

Dive (food truck, spot that tourists wouldn't find, etc.)
A new favorite of mine would have to be El Rinconcito. A little Mexican restaurant located on the way out to Whiskeytown Lake. I get chicken tacos every time, and am never disappointed. They make the tortilla’s in house, and they definitely deliver on flavor!

MMH: Favorite shops? What are their goods?
KD: Carousel. A small boutique that sells clothes, jewelry, and other odds and ends. It’s located next to Deja Vu, my favorite breakfast spot, so if you’re brunching on a Saturday, it’s worth walking over to take a peek inside.

MMH: Your favorite area in Redding (neighborhood, part of town, etc) and why?
KD: Whiskeytown Lake. Since “city life” isn’t really Redding’s strong suit, I would have to say my favorite part of town is actually more of a green space, than a hip neighborhood. Whiskeytown is Redding’s saving grace during the summer months. This man made lake is surrounded by mountains, and is even more beautiful at night; the sky is so clear out there, that you can spot several shooting stars on any given night.

MMH: What's your favorite green space in your city (park, outdoor area, etc.)?
KD: I have a few favorite’s for this category. Don’t worry, I’ll be quick.

1. Caldwell Park/ The River Trail- The park sits on the Sacramento River, and there is a shaded trail that runs alongside it.

2. Shasta Dam/Shasta Lake- You drive through the forested mountains to get to the stunning lookout. All around, a definite must see.

3. The Bluffs- Most Redding locals know about this “no trespassing” spot. This cliff overlook, gives you a panoramic view of the Sacramento River. Redding gets an A+ for sunsets, and this is THE place to watch them.

4. Lema Ranch- As an amateur runner, this is my favorite place to run. Trails weave around ponds and trees, featuring break taking mountain views.

MMH: Your perfect Saturday looks like...
KD: I would start my day at Coffee Bar catching up with a friend, then grab a longboard for an afternoon ride on the River Trail, stopping to walk down a rocky path to river. Next stop: dinner. Luckily Redding’s winters are very short, so cooking out with friends can be a regular activity; I would end the day with a trip to Whiskeytown to watch the stars.

MMH: Is there anything/anywhere that you'd tell a friend not to miss while visiting Redding?
KD: Burney Falls. It is a 45 minute drive outside of Redding, but a definite summer favorite. This oasis comes complete with rock waterslide, and plenty of cliffs to jump off of.

Thanks Katie! I love getting to go back "rediscover" a place you've loved and missed. I can't wait for my next trip to Redding... I'll definitely use your Local's Look to lead the way on our adventure there.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

twisted root burger co. // dallas, tx

As it warms up outside, there's nothing quite like burgers and beer in the Spring and Summer months. Mr. H and I love a good burger joint and one of our all-time favorites is Twisted Root Burger Co. in Dallas. Their gourmet burgers, spiked milkshakes, and deliciously fried sides (sweet potato chips are our pick) will make any burger lover drool. 

Twisted Root was started by two friends who went to culinary school but never left their passion for the American staple - a great burger. After taking the typical post-cullinary school route, they found their way back to the basics and started Twisted Root. Their creative culinary experience added something to a burger that you can't find at any ol' burger joint. Their burgers quickly gained fame and Twisted Root began to pop up in other locations of the DFW metroplex. 

Although it's now a chain, I discovered Twisted Root when its only location was the flagship store in Deep Ellum. I fell in love with the homemade ketchups, pickle bar, killer toppings, and the awesome quirkiness that comes along with anything in Deep Ellum. The other locations serve the same amazing burgers, but if you're going to Dallas I don't think you can beat the Deep Ellum location. This time of year, I'd give anything to be transported to Dallas on a perfect Spring day and sit on the rooftop patio, enjoying a burger, a beer, and finishing off the afternoon with a milkshake. 


{above images via}

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Travel through Billboards // LA comes to the Deep South

Why do we travel? There are too many reasons to list and it's different for all of us. But, within that long list, most of us would say "experiencing another culture" is a major reason. Most humans are fascinated by the way the rest of the world lives. Some of us are blessed with the time, resources, etc. to actually get out of our bubbles of normalcy and observe other cultures through travel. However, we aren't all afforded that luxury, which is one reason I'm obsessed with Los Angeles Nomadic Division's The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project featuring the work of Mario Ybarra Jr. along I-10 in Mobile, AL. The billboards allow anyone passing a billboard to peek into another culture.

Mario Ybarra Jr. (b. 1973, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Wilmington, CA) is a visual and performance artist, educator, founding member of Slanguage collective, and activist who combines street culture with fine art to produce site-specific urban interventions that often bring to light little-known aspects of a particular location’s cultural history. Ybarra Jr.’s chapter of The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project uses the artist’s ongoing collection of images of what he calls “barrio aesthetics” in Los Angeles. 

Ybarra Jr. is interested in inserting the daily culture and experience of one city and neighborhood into another, both contrasting and familiar... hence the use of billboards. 

I love the way the fact that the billboards not only gives the public access to art in our daily lives (commute to work, while pumping gas, etc.), but they also give every viewer a little "moment of travel" as you glance into another culture for a split second. 

This week the billboards are making their way from I-10 to downtown Mobile. Where they will make the Centre for the Living Arts their new home for the duration of the Pre-Glo exhibition, April 3 - July 25. If you are near/in/or traveling through Mobile, don't miss this opportunity to "travel through photographs" to the barrios of LA. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Eloise Factor

When I was growing up, some of my books were the Eloise books by Kay Thompson. Now, as an adult, I'm so not surprised... of course I loved reading about a little girl who lived in a hotel (The Plaza, to be exact). Clearly I had the "hospitality gene" in my veins from a young age. 

Recently, I was perusing my new favorite blog, Domaine (which covers my other love - interior design), and was thrilled to see a post titled, "The Eloise Factor: 10 Hotels You'll Want to Call Home." Sold - say no more.  

I loved the vast array of hotels they chose. After reading the article, I was ready to pack my bags and call one of these hotels home sweet home. Below are images from a few of the 10 Hotels on Domain's list. Check out the article to see the whole list. 

Which hotels would you like to call home? Out of Domaine's list, my pick would be the Bellinter House in Ireland. Palazzo Margherita and Riad El Fenn are tied for a close second. However, since moving into one of these beauties isn't likely to happen anytime soon, I'll have to appease myself by reading Eloise. 
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