Happy Friday: Volume 23

man in Coast Guard dress whites

Happy Friday: Volume 23 – Catching up on life, A Coast Guard retirement, Cleveland is worth a visit, and some good summer reads.

Hello and Happy Friday!

It has been bananas around here since we got back from Germany. I really had good intentions of keeping up and not letting the move keep me from anything. Well, you can see how that went. I haven’t picked up my camera more than a handful of times since we got back. 

A lot of you read this in email form, and I truly appreciate the kind messages checking in on me and my family. I got more than a few, “Hey, are you still alive?“ emails and I’m touched you even noticed my absence.

I’m good. We’re all good.

This move had a lot of moving pieces and reestablishing yourself after being out of the country is no joke. It is time-consuming and expensive. I don’t need to make a visit to the DMV any time soon. If I had to sum up the last month and half in a word, what immediately comes to mind is appointment.

Thankfully, 2 out of 3 of our shipments are here, we are functioning and legal members of society again, and we are settling into our new normal.

We really do love it here, this is a beautiful and historic area of New England. Our backyard bumps up again the Minuteman Trail and we are sharing the same space that many famous American authors did as well. Louisa May Alcott, Hawthorne, Thoreau. Walden Pond is right down the road.

Last week I flew to Cleveland for a super short visit. One of our oldest friend’s retired from the Coast Guard. One, this made me feel incredibly old. Two, I was surprisingly moved by the whole thing. I love uniforms and pomp and circumstance and watching this chapter close for our closest friends was bittersweet. Katheryn and I bonded over being new military wives and we celebrated that end together too. I’m so excited for this next chapter for them.

Also, have you been to Cleveland lately? It is such a nice city. Incredible food, culture, and in general a nice place to spend some time. I’ve been there many times, but this time in particular I saw it with fresh eyes.

flag ceremony Coast Guard retirement ceremony


I am starting to make more cooking videos and would love if you could subscribe to my YouTube channel. I need a certain number of subscribers to get a custom URL and to monetize them. I would be so grateful if you would subscribe! (Plus you will get the first look at upcoming content.



We’ve watched this trailer at least 16 times yesterday.

How many times have I justified a purchased using this loophole?

Has Missy Elliott aged at all? Sign me up for whatever she’s doing.

How to change my night owl ways. I have done this, I’m not 100% I am more productive, but I sleep better.

I lived there for three years and hadn’t heard of some of these fun things.

This is handy – I always forget to take out the cream cheese too late. How to soften cream cheese.

Serena is a QUEEN.

Keep this list in your back pocket for your next trip to NYC.

An interesting look at military marriages. A part that they left out in the study (IMHO) is that we typically have little to no outside support and it creates more of a team mentality.

Pass the chips please. And if you live in New England, get these (the Pico de Gallo flavor). They are the best.

How to hygge in summer.

I’m not a natural lover of working out, I took a two-year break, but I’m LOVING Orangetheory. I love the coaches, the workout is never the same, and the people are supportive and there is every shape and size. Give it a try if you have a studio near you.

How to update your space without spending a cent.

This is a beautifully timed shot.

I am embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve watched this. It also confirms that I still think gender reveal parties are annoying.

Stop making everything perfect for your kid. Or allowing your kid to not follow rules or face any consequences.

passing the flag ceremony



What I've been reading this summer. Some good, some great, some okay. These links are affiliate links. If you should make a purchase using this link, I get a small portion of the sale at no cost to you.

Have a great week!


Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

raspberry orange pistachio ricotta cake slices on a wire rack

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White Chocolate Banana Bread

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