Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post.
Happy November!! Personally, I could not be more excited that November is here. Don’t ask me why, because the closer we get to the end of the year the closer I am to a very hard deadline that’s nearly impossible to meet. Regardless, I am so excited for November. It’s now officially the holiday season and I know the next two months are going to bring so much joy and happiness. Cheesy of me to say, but it’s true! I’ve said it one million times over now, but this is truly my favorite time of year. This year however is feeling even more special. And for so many reasons (see favorite #5 below for one very special reason)!
Before we dive into all things November, how was everyone’s Halloween? Ours was much, much more low-key than previous years with no trick-or-treating, but we managed to have a fun night full of our favorite Halloween movies, pizza rolls for snacking, and Peanut Butter Stuffed Jack-O-Lantern cookies for dessert. Personally, it was my ideal Halloween. I’m such a homebody and never get time to re-watch my favorite movies. Therefore, finding an excuse to watch my favorite childhood Halloween movies was pretty much perfect. There was Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, and the original Casper. We didn’t get through ALL of them, but twas’ the perfect way to spend Halloween at home.
What about you guys? How did you celebrate? Did any of you get to dress up? I know back in Ohio, my little cousins were able to trick-or-treat!
This past week was an interesting one, to say the least. I spent a lot of time with my little sister, Asher. She’s staying with me all week while my parents are out of town. As many of you know, Asher is a special little twelve year old. We’re fifteen years apart, but that little girl is just like one of my best friends. She’s wise way beyond her years and has more style (and sass) than I could ever have. She. Is. The. Best!
And also…she’s so hard to say no to! She’s has me and all of my brothers wrapped around her little ring filled fingers. We baked a lot of brownies, planned our annual Christmas Day, ordered way too many holiday decorations (and splurged on candles), and stayed up late watching Gilmore Girls re-runs. She was a complete distraction that I really didn’t have time for, but such a welcomed one. I could never turn that girl down.
She even helped me with some Thanksgiving planning and prep! Yes, on to Thanksgiving! I’ll be spending some time today planning out the details of our 2020 Thanksgiving menu. I hope to share our final menu and guide early next week, so be on the lookout for that. Today also marks the start of my Thanksgiving Tips series on Instagram! Expect a lot of holiday talk this year. If you’re looking for some holiday inspiration today, scroll through my 2018 Thanksgiving Menu and 2019 Thanksgiving Menu.
Question: what Thanksgiving questions do you have? Let me know what you need help with, and hopefully, I can answer all your questions!
Question: What are your BEST Thanksgiving tips and tricks? I’ll feature all my favorites throughout the month!
Coming up this week on HBH, Monday is all about another easy autumn recipe that the entire family will love. For Tuesday we’ve got something sweet. It’s likely to be a stressful day so I’m hoping to brighten everyone’s moods. On Wednesday, we’ve got a soup that’s equally perfect as a weeknight dinner as it is on our Thanksgiving table. Then on to a fun dish on Thursday that I hope will everyone love. And for Friday, our first Thanksgiving dessert! Saturday is a wild card. I haven’t fully plotted out my Thanksgiving cocktails just yet.
In addition, if you’re catching up on blog posts from the week, be sure to sign up for our daily newsletters. They’ll help you to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here, as well as fun content you’ll only get via email. If you’re meal planning today, don’t forget to check out my menu below (it’s # 9 on the favorite’s list). You can grab the full grocery list for this week’s menu in our special Sunday newsletter.
1. Things i’m loving, wanting, and excited to try…
watching…Holidate on Netflix. I normally don’t start Christmas movies until Thanksgiving night, but I am way too excited to watch this. Might have to watch tonight. Have you seen it yet?
cooking…Creamy Wild Rice Chicken Soup. Favorite November Sunday night dinner.
loving…MUTHA Face Oil that I grabbed at Violet Grey. I’ve been using this as the last step of my nightly routine to help lock in moisture overnight. It’s worked so well and I love that it’s a clean beauty find.
excited to try…Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner also from Violet Grey. My hair has felt so dry lately, I’m excited to try this!
listening to…Armchair Expert with Matthew McConaughey. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t think I would get through this all the way. But I found Matthew’s stories, particularly his life-story, very interesting and completely surprising. It was a good “doing dishes” listen.
reading…Made for Living. If you follow Amber Lewis, you know she’s the most talented interior designer out there. She just released her first book and it’s full of so much inspiration. This will make the perfect holiday gift.
loving…Zwilling Fresh and Save. This helps reduce food and plastic waste and keeps food fresh up to 5X longer.
ordered…new Zara finds! Love this sweater vest and knit sweater. The coziest.
loving…this Free People Mini Dress. How cute would this be for a holiday party?
drinking…Off Hours Bourbon. November is made for bourbon, this is my favorite brand.
2. The most popular recipe of October.
Most Popular: Healthier Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Vegetable Soup
Never have I seen a recipe become so popular, so quickly. This soup has been SO well LOVED this month! And that makes me so happy. I love this one too, and the added bonus? It truly is the easiest to make, and even healthy too! A mix of vegetables, simmered with Italian seasonings, a splash of wine, kale, and cheese tortellini. Finish each bowl off with an extra sprinkle of cheese and serve with crusty bread. It’s hearty, full of greens, and so delicious.
Would it be October without a pumpkin bread recipe? This one has been everyone’s favorite. It’s all about the pumpkin butter…and the chocolate. SO. GOOD.
Also have to mention: Slow Cooker Saucy Sunday Bolognese Pasta
Everyone’s favorite Sunday sauce. It’s easy, comforting, and best simmered low and slow on a chilly Sunday.
3. Everything Needed For Thanksgiving…
4. Favorite question of the week…
q: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?
a: I’m all about the sides!! Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes (of course), a big salad, and the rolls!!
My least favorite side is probably the green bean casserole, which is why I don’t ever make it. I know everyone loves green bean casserole, but I don’t know ??♀️ I just feel like there are so many better vegetables/sides!
q: How do you find motivation?
a: For me, it’s pretty easy. I really love what I do! I love sharing recipes, photos, and stories with you guys. and I love being able to help you solve the “what to cook tonight” problem. So really it’s you guys that keep me motivated. Seeing everyone make the recipes I post, and reading all the comments you leave drives me to continue to create more. I always take the time to read your comments, emails, and messages so I know what you guys want/need. And then, I’m just weird and I honestly love working. I can’t sit still ever.
q: Where does Asher get her clothes?
a: She’s a hardcore Zara Kids shopper. Or my closet. She’s only 12, but every time she’s at my house, she’s dressing up in my clothes.
5. Meet the newest little Gerard.
Yep, you all read that correctly, there is a new little Gerard that we’re welcoming into the family!!
You know that trip my parents have been on for well over a week now? Well, this wasn’t just any trip to Texas. They’ve spent the week there adopting our new little brother…Oslo James Gerard. He’s now two weeks old. And even though I haven’t met the little guy just yet, I’m so excited to have yet another brother. Oslo is going to be so well-loved and I really can’t wait to meet him next week!!
To rewind a little, my parents have been trying to adopt for over two years now. It’s something they’ve wanted to do for a long time. Anyone who knows my mom knows she’s the most loving, caring woman out there. She truly loves raising her kids. They tried working within the foster care system, but unfortunately, it can be flawed and difficult. There are a lot of good people who are trying their best, but unfortunately, my parents were never able to find a way to help.
So about 6 months ago they decided to go right to adoption, vs foster to adopt. They worked with several agencies, but their favorite by far, and the one they ended up receiving Oslo through, is called Special Angels. I’m updating this post here because the founder of Special Angels is no longer in service. However, Jennifer, one of Special Angels founders, has since taken her services to ACF, where they are developing a special needs adoptions division. I encourage anyone looking to donate to an organization that benefits children to look into ACF Adoptions. The agency is run by truly amazing people who create beautiful families.
We are all so happy and excited to finally welcome our little brother home this week. More to come!
My parents have been staying in the cutest little renovated farmhouse in Waco, Texas, My 100 Year Old Waco Home, while finalizing the adoption. My mom said it was the coziest, most enjoyable place she ever could have hoped to bring Oslo home to. Plus it was equipped with everything she needed. If you check out the pics in the link you will see why. They really enjoyed their first week with baby Oslo there.
My dad returned on Friday night, but my mom has to stay in Texas a little longer until all the paperwork clears. My cousin Abby flew into Austin to be with Mom and the baby. Abby’s been sending photo after photo of little Oslo.
And guys? He’s the sweetest little baby. Sharing a few photos below, but more to come once I finally get to meet little Oslo James.
6. Snow Day Fun + Halloweeen.
Asher was a 60’s Cheerleader for Halloween! She put the entire costume together and did her makeup all by herself. So impressed!
We’ve had so much fun this week!
7. favorite links i’m loving…
Scary Interior Styling Mistakes…a few tips to get you out of a styling rut.
How to Take Care of Your Sweaters…this article is for me, I’m always shrinking my sweaters!
A Country-Style Kitchen…the fireplace in the kitchen is my dream. So cozy.
9 Quick and Easy Trader Joe’s Meals for One…love these easy ideas.
Christmas decoration ideas…never too early to start gathering ideas.
Gilmore Girls Fall Fashion…I could not love this more. All about the leather blazer.
The Best Skin, Brow, and Nail products…if you’re looking for all the best beauty finds, ready this.
The Best Sales to Shop This Weekend…this Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream
See How Takashi Murakami Totally Transformed Part of Children’s National Hospital…absolutely love this.
13 Must Follow Designers…some new home design inspiration.
Target’s New Holiday Collection Has Two Genius Decorating Hacks…the holiday season is here!
It’s Time To Bask In The Influence of Emma Chamberlain…I didn’t know of Emma before reading this, but found her story really inspiring. She’s so young and doing so much!
7 Steps to Take When Imposter Syndrome Creeps In…love these easy steps and need to remember them for the future.
Buzzy Skincare Line Summer Fridays Has Thrived During COVID…this marketing pivot was key.
Hailey Bieber Walks Us Through Her Wardrobe for Vogue’s New Show 7 Days, 7 Looks…got sucked into this one.
8. Some November Style Finds…
9. this week’s dinners…