Nine Favorite Things
Back home to the chilly weather, but so happy to be here. I had an incredible, quick trip to Los Angeles this week (more on that below). And I’m excited to dive into all things holiday in the coming days. Working on a fun shoot and some really exciting things for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. If I can execute them the way I’m envisioning things in my head, it should be great! I’ve said it before, but I thrive this time of year. There isn’t a thing I don’t love…even re-watching Harry Potter…because it’s the season for it.
Two things I realized while being away, one, it really is so insanely dry here in Colorado. The second I landed in Denver I could feel the itchy, dry skin returning to my face and body. It was so much healthier and less red in LA. I love where I live, but I could really do without all the dry air.
Second, while out and about in LA, I not only saw Halloween decorations…but Christmas decorations too! What?! I’m sorry, I know we’re all excited to celebrate a more normal holiday season, but Christmas decorations in the grocery store BEFORE Halloween are just too early. And I love all things holiday!
This also made me realize that everyone might be getting ready for the holiday season sooner than ever this year, is that true? How are you guys feeling? What are your holiday plans? Traveling, staying home? Entertaining? What’s happing this season? And how can I help you guys have the best holiday yet?
Let me know!
And that’s kind of it update-wise. Asher is off in southern California with our brothers. Probably having the time of her life. I love that she can just hang with whoever. And I love that our brothers care enough to take the time to spend with her. She’s been there over a week and between the three brothers + our cousins, she’s been in living up that southern California lifestyle like a true pro. Excited to see her soon though!
Lastly, finally sharing some fun news early this week that I think…or really hope…will excite you all. It’s a long time coming, so I can’t wait to get to share every detail with you guys! Look out for that Monday or Tuesday!
Oh! And you guys! Wow, I really loved hearing your thoughts on overthinking last week. Some of you guys had some really great tips, tricks, and advice. If anyone else struggles with overthinking and second-guessing, go through last week’s comments. So many great suggestions!
1. Things i’m loving, wanting, and excited to try…
loving…The iPhone 13. If you guys are curious, the new camera is so good.
listening to…Van Jones on Armchair Expert. No matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on, this is worth a listen. It’s not even about politics so much (which I don’t like to talk about, ever). It’s more about learning someone’s life story and gaining some valuable takeaways.
love…Gold Flatware. This is the set I always use and it’s finally back in stock.
ordered…Diptyque holiday candles. They just released their 3 holiday scents. I got the pastry candle, but secretly I really want this gorgeous limited edition amber candle. Just can’t wrap my head around that price tag. Don’t worry, I’m not lighting the holiday candles until after Thanksgiving. I just know these will sell out!
loving…this Long Sleeve Crew Neck Top. Great for layering.
ordered…this Alo Yoga Pull Over. It looks so cozy, I can’t wait to wear it.
thinking of ordering…25 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar. Don’t yell at me because of the price, but this would be a really, really nice gift for someone in your life who loves skincare. Also, this too, which is much more affordable. Or if you love candles.
loving…Woven Throw Pillow Cover from Zara Home…so cozy!
drinking…Pumpkin Head Punch.
snacking on…The Date Shop dates. The absolute best dates and delicious any time of day, I have been loving them at night recently.
shopping…Nicole Richie’s House of Harlow Etsy Holiday Collab…the soy candles and stockings are really cute and festive. Love this necklace too.
2. Nine favorite fall recipes to bake today.
3. Shop now for Thanksgiving…some essentials.
4. Favorite questions of the week.
q: Do you ever power nap?
a: No I’m not a nap person. I always feel more tired after a nap for some reason.
q: You appear to have several cuts on your hands, are they from cooking?
a: Yes! But this week I actually tripped while hiking a cut my hands up a little ? Totally fine (promise) just more cuts than usual this week.
q: Ever think about starting your own candle line?
a: Haha no. But maybe I should. What do you think, should I start a candle line?
q: How do you film your recipes for stories?
a: I always upload them and use my phone’s camera app.
q: How do you edit your photos? PS. I love your content.
a: I edit everything on the blog with Lightroom. I don’t use presets because I think each food photo is just too different from another. I like the mood and lighting to always be different depending on the recipe. Everything for stories I edit either with my phone’s camera app or I’ll throw some photos/videos into the Tezza App.
q: How long did it take you to grow your following?
a: A long time. Since 2012. Nothing was ever an overnight success, which personally I think is key. I love that we’ve slowly grown and built the most loyal community along the way. Everyone who follows daily feels like family and I love that.
q: Are all of the candles you recommend non-toxic and clean-burning?
a: Yup! That’s super important to me since I burn candles daily. I literally research them out before I buy them.
q: Where did you attend college and what was your degree?
a: I didn’t attend college. I took classes through Colorado Mountain College while in high school and graduated early with an Associates’s Degree. I haven’t done any further schooling since.
q: Do you have a huge candle stash?
a: It’s not small but also I’m stressing cause it’s not enough. I have issues ?
q: What’s your typical morning and evening routine?
morning: I’m up pretty early, right now before the sun 🙁 I have a big glass of warm water. Unfortunately, not with lemon, but only because I’m too lazy that early, lemon would be good. Then I’m out the door to go hiking within like 10 minutes of waking. I hike, then come home, do my skincare routine, make coffee, and then head to the studio to start working.
evening: When I get home I light candles, finish up computer work, do stories, dinner, then my skincare routine, and bed.
q: The presets you use for your photos?
a: Sorry I don’t use any presets. I edit each photo individually.
q: Will you go to Beijing to cheer on your brother in the winter Olympics?
a: If we could, yes absolutely!!!!! But they’re not allowing any spectators outside of mainland China, which no one is happy about. All 18+ of us traveled to Korea 4 years ago. We’d do it again in a heartbeat for Beijing if we could 🙁
q: Do you ever get anxiety from this career?
a: Yes, like every single day. It can be a lot and I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I do think I’d be this way with any career.
5. My LA trip…October edition.
This was one of my favorite LA trips to date. And as annoying as this is, I can’t tell you all the details, but hopefully soon!
I left home Tuesday morning around 10 am, thinking I was getting a 2:05 flight out of Denver. It’s a little less than 2 hours to the airport, but as I was in the shuttle on the way down to Denver, I was seeing Southwest pushing my flight back, minute after minute. I was really needing to get to LA before 4 pm, so my mom swapped my flight to a flight that was set to take off at 12:55 pm. I got to the airport at 12pm…with 5 minutes to get my bag checked.
Then I was that horrible person that everyone hates in the airport. I found a kind person who let me quickly cut in front of her in line…which I felt so, so, so horrible about. But also very thankful for someone to be so kind and let me do that. I got my bagged check with not even a second to spare (I actually think it was 12:10 by the time I got up to the desk). I ran through security to my gate and was literally the last person to board the flight.
As someone who is a rather stressed flyer, this was not fun. My mom would have been easy, breezy, no stress. But I basically just felt horrible about cutting that line for the next 24 hours. So not my favorite way to start the trip. But I was able to get into LA by 3 pm and really appreciated the extra time. I needed to prep for the two days of filming ahead. So all in all, it worked out, like it usually does, but why is travel almost never fun?!
So there was that, but the rest of the trip really was perfection. I stayed at the 1 Hotel, West Hollywood and so far I think it’s been my favorite hotel experience yet. First off, the hotel itself is so cute and cozy. I love a cozy hotel and way prefer it over a cold, modern hotel. The design throughout is really warm and inviting. They have incredible food options, 1 Kitchen – farm-to-table style food, is delicious. Juniper Lounge is more for drinks and appetizers. Harriet’s Rooftop bar is also for drinks + apps, it too is so cute. And then, of course, there’s in-room dining as well!
(the lighting is so perfect at The 1 Hotel)
(1 kitchen – farm-to-table style food)
The room was what I really appreciated most, spacious and filled with light. I was welcomed with a bowl of fresh granola, trail mix, and fruit. And it was so perfect, especially after a hectic day of travel. I was very grateful for that little snack.
The hotel’s location was perfect for me. I could walk to most of the places I needed to go. And if time had permitted, to so many of the West Hollywood attractions too. It’s definitely become one of my favorite hotels to stay at while in the city.
(my favorite kind of snack)
(this bed was so cozy)
(the lobby of 1 Hotel – it really is so cute)
The rest of my time in the city was pretty much just back-to-back days of filming. I didn’t have much else planned other than what I was there to work on. But, what I can say, is that I had two fun days of doing something totally new. I got to wear some cute outfits, meet new people, cook, create a cheeseboard, and play with flowers too. It was fun, and I, of course, have just a few photos to share!
Per usual, the weather was great. A little chillier, but still sunny every day, which I loved.
(always a cheese board)
I headed home Thursday night. I had some real “fun” issues getting back up the mountain…instead of two hours, it took close to four. Between a shady car service that I had to abandon, then into an Uber (who I will say, was great). Then the closure of the Eisenhower Tunnel (due to a truck on fire) – so up over Loveland Pass we went. And then lastly, a bit of a scare with the Uber driver being low on gas. But, I finally arrived home around 10:45 pm. Could have been worse, but I was certainly very glad to be home.
6. Holiday gift guides + favorite random photos.
I’m seeing more and more holiday gift guides already popping up. Refiner29 has an entire guide section…oh my gosh, this is certainly making me feel behind and it’s not even November yet!
You all mentioned last week that you’d love to see me share some holiday gift guides. This excites me so much! But first, a few questions…
- What guides do you want to see the most? Be specific.
- When should I start sharing them? Early November? After Thanksgiving?
- How big or little should they be? Between 10-25 products or 25-40?
If you’re looking for guides now, here’s a good source.
favorite family photos from the week
Baby Walker!! My cousin Maggie’s first little boy
(Oslo and (cousin) Matt say hi)
(Asher hanging with the brothers in CA, missing Creighton + Brendan)
(go Browns GO)
7. Favorite links i’m loving…
…if you love Adele, this is fun.
How to Get More Toned…from Shay Mitchell’s trainer.
These 5 Hacks Help Me Keep Organized…always unpack when you get home is one I need to work on.
…some of these are really fun, some are crazy expensive.
…love these. Skincare is such a great gift.
This Is The Secret to Keeping Your Sweaters Looking Brand New…I need all these tips.
…love this look.
5 Celebrity Makeup Artists Share Their One Must-Have Product…some goodies linked.
…again, love a beauty gift.
…love these pants and this jacket.
…certainly love the idea of this, just not sure how’d I’d actually feel sleeping there. Maybe just a tour for me.
…I’ve heard LED lights really help too.
30 Home Projects to Tackle this Weekend…if you need something to tackle today.
8. Favorite Fleece Jackets…
9. This week’s dinners + weekend eats…