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Nine Favorite Things

Happy November! The holiday season is officially here. I feel so much excitement for all that is coming. Of course, I already feel so behind, but nothing new there. But aside from feeling overwhelmed, I also feel so happy. This is such a special time of year!

As I type away tonight, I just finished up shooting our 2023 Thanksgiving menu. This year’s theme is Simple, Cozy, and Delicious. I crafted my menu with ease in mind. After many years of preparing for Thanksgiving, I’ve come to the realization that anything too fussy is not worth the trouble. Instead, I’m including really delicious recipes, that can be easily prepared and most importantly, that everyone will enjoy. I’m really excited to share this year’s menu, I’m hoping it’s what we’re all looking for!

I’m super happy I was able to get the menu all photographed and settled before heading to New York. I’ll be in the city for the week. I’ve got a handful of work events including our Snif Ulta Beauty event and our Williams-Sonoma signing. Both of which I CAN’T WAIT for. The Ulta Beauty event is this Wednesday at the Herald Square store in New York. Then on Thursday, I’ll be at the Williams-Sonoma store in Short Hills, New Jersey.

When we had our Chicago signing, I was able to do a giveaway for everyone who attended. For this signing, we’re going to be doing the same! It will be fun and I love meeting you all. It really makes me so happy getting to interact with you in person. If you’re in New York or New Jersey, please come out and say hi!

Details for both events are below:

Snif Ulta Beauty Meet  Greet – Wednesday, November 8th, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Tickets are FREE but only the first 150 to show up with a ticket are guaranteed access to the meet-and-greet opportunities.

Get your tickets for the event here.

Williams Sonoma Short Hills, New Jersey – Thursday, November 9th 6:00 pm 

Reserve your tickets here.

All books will be signed, looking forward to this so much!

What else to update you on? Oh, how about Oslo, he had an amazing Halloween. He just loved going up to each storefront on our town’s main street collecting candy. He is just the sweetest little boy! OH, and this is kind of fun news, Asher is now a brunette. She needed a change of pace. She looks so pretty with light brown hair. When I was her age I never would have been brave enough to make such a change. I love how daring she is!

Speaking of Asher she has been a huge help to me these last few weeks, months, the entire year really. She is so caring and genuinely happy to help. I feel so grateful for her! My mom and I have something very special planned for her this Christmas, I can’t wait! I know she will love it.

I also have to say a big thank you to everyone who has been supporting our Snif candle collaboration. It’s been one of my favorite projects to be lucky enough to create. The gingerbread smash candle is now out!! It’s truly the essence of Christmas! Like fresh gingerbread cookies baking away all day long.

That’s all I have for today! Enjoy another Sunday Favorites and Happy November! 

1. Things i’m loving, wanting, and excited to try.

burning…our pumpkin smash candle and our gingerbread smash candle together as a duo. Burning both together creates the most magical, warm, and cozy home. You have to try it!

loving (SO MUCH)…this Vintage Bookshelf Games Edition. This is so cute. I am obsessed with the Candy Land edition. So stinking cute.

reading…the Goop gifts guides. There are so many!

everything in my cart (low)…I have a sweater that looks identical to this Fairisle Wedge Crew Sweater, but at triple the price. This is the best designer-like-looking sweater, super cute.

More cozy finds, love this Free People bonfire cardi and their pom beanie. Really fun and cute. And here’s another Abercrombie find, a great cable notch-neck sweater.

Everyone needs a pair of cashmere socks. We love these cute cashmere blend trouser socks at J Crew (30% off with code FRIENDS).

listening to…Lucy Hale: Sober Doesn’t Mean Boring.

shopping…Amazon Home. I found some really cute holiday entertaining pieces for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

wanting…Activist raw manuka honey. Manuka honey is said to have amazing health benefits. I need to start using it.

everything in my cart (beauty)…RMS Beauty always carries my favorite products. This lip pencil is wonderful.

For gifting, the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk On the Go Kit, is fun and cute.

And from Amazon, these all would make amazing gifts!

gifting…the Papier stationery advent calendar. Gift this to anyone who thrives on planning and organization.

everything in my cart (high)…well, this isn’t actually in my cart, but I think this men’s Suede jacket from Prada is so handsome. Love the new Bottega Veneta Medium Gemelli Shoulder bag. On my Christmas list and this Cartier Baignoire de Cartier Watchis pretty. Way too much, but pretty.

drinking…espresso martinis. I’m so into them right now. I want to make both my vanilla espresso martini and chai espresso martini again very soon! Plus, I have a new one coming this December that I can’t wait to share!

shopping…the Studio McGee holiday collection. Love their classic, festive take on the holidays. These mini trees are really cute and I need to order this ribbon.

Cider Braised Pot Roast with Crispy Sage Butter Potatoes |

Most popular: Cider Braised Pot Roast with Crispy Sage Butter Potatoes

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken and Broccoli |

Runner-up: Crockpot Buffalo Chicken and Broccoli

Smothered Chicken in Mushroom Wine Pan Sauce |

Also have to mention: Smothered Chicken in Mushroom Wine Pan Sauce

Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Roll Bread |

Everyone’s favorite pumpkin recipe: Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Roll Bread + 6 Ingredient Spiced Pumpkin Butter

Cranberry Bourbon Sour | #bourbon #thanksgiving #cocktails #holiday #christmas

Our favorite drink: Cranberry Bourbon Sour

3. Cute holiday stockings

4. What gifts do you love to give?

As we enter the season of gifting, I’d love to know what gifts you love to give. I struggle with receiving gifts, but one of the things I love most, and I really do mean LOVE, is giving someone the perfect gift.

If I’m gifting to someone I don’t know well, my go-to is a wonderful candle paired with a cute kitchen set or a fun custom board game. For the holidays, I honestly think the Half Baked Smash bundle in a gift basket with either a pie or baking goodies would be perfect. You could also do a cocktail-mixing must-haves basket. It would depend on who I’m gifting to as to which one I’d choose.

I’d love to hear some of your favorite gifts to give! I need some new hostess gift ideas!

Gifting doesn’t have to be something tangible or even cost anything. It can be as simple as the gift of quality time. Babysit a friend’s kids so they can have an hour or two to themselves. Volunteering at a friend or family member’s favorite charity. Cooking dinner for someone. Photo albums take time to put together, but they are so appreciated and fairly inexpensive.

Of course, you can also do a random act of kindness as a gift for someone who looks like they could use a pick-me-up. Buy someone a hot coffee or pumpkin spice latte – just because you can! Or carry some extra cheap gloves with you. Hand them out when you see someone who looks like they could use them.

Simple acts of kindness are almost always well-received!

Ok, ok, comments below, please!

5. The Quickest trip to New York.

On Tuesday I did a quick overnight trip to New York, flying in and out the next day. I was on Amazon Live for the launch of Gingerbread Smash. While I was there I shared how I create my holiday tables and how to use candles within your home. It was so much fun!

And now I’m already back in the city, this time for a slightly longer stay!

If you missed the Amazon Live, you can watch the full clip here.

(a warm and cozy welcome)

(every night – I am religious about skincare)

(legs up to reduce inflammation – increases circulation and helps with relaxation)

(movement every morning)

Amazon Live prep

Nine Favorite Things

(Amazon had such a nice display of the candles and books)

(the cutest Halloween night late-night snack at the hotel)

(cozy New York)

6. Thanksgiving Tip of the Week.

Tip: Think About Your Menu

A few things to consider when creating your 2023 Thanksgiving Menu. How much oven space do you have, how many people are you serving, and does anyone have any dietary restrictions?

Depending on how many leftovers you’d like, plan on anywhere from a pound to a pound and a half per person. If everyone is heading out the door at the end of the day, I would go closer to a pound per person. If your guests are staying through the weekend, go for a pound and a half. Bone-in breasts are a nice option if you don’t want to cook more than one turkey. Keep in mind, that if you’ve got a lot of sides, guests will probably eat less turkey.

Write down everything you need, who may be bringing dishes, etc. Tack the list on your fridge a few weeks before to stay organized.

7. Favorite links i’m loving.

The Best Winter Getaways Around the U.S. to Visit This Season

Starbucks Holiday Drinks Are Back! We Ranked Them All From Worst to Best

7 Simple Ways to Make Your Friendsgiving Extra Special This Year

These Are the Best Online Home Decor Brands Around

The Best Food Gifts for Curious Cooks and Holiday Hosts

The Best Christmas Gift Baskets Are Actually Boxes

40 Things to Do in November That’ll Make It Your Coziest Month Yet

Under-$25 White Elephant Gifts Everyone Will Want To Steal

100 Books for Every Genre to Read

8. Cozy Knits Under $100.

9. This week’s dinners + favorite weekend eats.

Creamy Pierogi Chicken Soup with Rosemary Bacon |

Monday: Creamy Pierogi Chicken Soup with Rosemary Bacon

Shaved Brussels Sprout Candied Bacon Salad |

Tuesday: Shaved Brussels Sprout Candied Bacon Salad

Crockpot Chili Meatballs and Spaghetti |

Wednesday: Crockpot Chili Meatballs and Spaghetti

Crockpot Creamy Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala |

Thursday: Crockpot Creamy Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala

Friday: Baked French Onion Meatballs

Cranberry Bourbon Sour | #bourbon #thanksgiving #cocktails #holiday #christmas

Saturday: Cranberry Bourbon Sour

Chocolate Covered Espresso Spiced Pretzels |

Sunday: Chocolate Covered Espresso Spiced Pretzels

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  1. So many times you’ve said you love engaging with the HBH community. Then why do so many comments and questions go unacknowledged?

  2. Been a fan of yours for years, I have to recommend you change the way you words things. I love the idea of carrying gloves with you to hand to people in need, but the wording of “extra cheap” just rubbed me the wrong way. Also, here is an Abercrombie sweater that is like the way more expensive one I have…comes across as tone deaf.

  3. Nine favorite things is my favorite part of the week. I love your pics and especially hearing about NY since I’ve never been. Can’t wait to light my new candles you designed!!

    1. Hi Candace,
      Happy Sunday! I appreciate you reading each week:) I hope you love the candles and thanks for the support! xx

  4. Glad you are enjoying NY. It’s a nice time of year, October us usually my Fav, but the weather was so bad last month, rain and flooding day after day. November might get more appreciation this year!

    Always hoping your candles will come to the UK too. I’d love to smell either of them!

    Have a great week. Xx

    1. Hey Kelly-Jane,
      Thanks so much for reading today!! I’m excited for November in NY! Hope you are having a great Sunday:) xT

  5. All these visits to NY and you still haven’t had a NY bagel or pizza, or been to Chinatown. Can’t you see why people don’t believe you are passionate about food?

    1. So rude. Luckily, in this country, people are still free to cook the kind of food they like – and if they’ve developed a successful business doing so, kudos to them. You are the type of person who is contributing to the downfall of our once free, merit-based country.

      1. Barbara, asking a food blogger about food staples of a place they have visited many times isn’t rude. No, she can’t blog everything, but she did mention her sister’s new hair color. Is that relevant?

  6. Some of you need to get a life. If you don’t like the posts here don’t read them, there are many other food/lifestyle bloggers to follow.

    I look forward to the posts every Sunday and enjoy the content. Most of this is honestly no one else’s business and really sad.

    1. No one’s business? Tieghan has MADE it the world’s business. She constantly puts down restaurant and take out food saying hers is better – even when she admits she’s NEVER even had the original dish. It’s insane that people are still following her AND sticking up for her. Also are we just going to ignore the obvious signs that she’s not well?

  7. You are doing great! There will always be the haters!
    Continue the great content and inspiration

    My best to you!

    1. I don’t think people calling her out for stealing other bloggers’ recipes can be considered haters… Just sayin.

  8. “Depending on how many leftovers you’d like, plan on anywhere from a pound to a pound and a half per person.”

    So, 1# to 1-1/2# of mashed potatoes, carrots, etc. per person. Sounds about right.

    1. Hi Ellie Mae,
      Thanks for reading today….I was referring to the turkey:) Let me know if I can hep in any other way! x

  9. My big takeaway from the NYT article is the admission that you don’t get much sleep and forget to eat due to anxiety? This is very scary.

    You’ve always described yourself as “workaholic, thrives on being busy” but I am genuinely worried about these behaviors. I am wishing you nothing but health and happiness. A restful nights sleep and a nutritious meal will do the body wonders! Less apple cider vinegar and creatine! More vegetables & protein!

  10. This read rather gauche, don’t you think: “I have a sweater that looks identical to this Fairisle Wedge Crew Sweater, but at triple the price.”

      1. it adds nothing to the suggestion, which means it serves no purpose other than showing off about purchasing ~expensive~ clothes, which is, well, tackier than red and green christmas decor.

  11. Are there any other adjustments we should all be making now that we know some of your recipes take two whole days to make? We’ve followed you for so long because it seems like you’re committed to sharing recipes families will love, but now even you realize that a cake that takes two days to make isn’t something that someone with a whole staff can make happen with a bunch of advance notice, let alone a busy family with lots of kids and no help! Hoping you can prove yourself to be more genuine in the future. XO

    1. Love the XO after the jab. There are many other family friendly recipe bloggers to follow. Snarky people don’t need to keep following Half Baked if so inclined.