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Nine Favorite Things | halfbakedharvest.com

(Brendan and Lynd’s pumpkins)

Happy Halloween!! I feel like this year we’re all really celebrating. Last year was a bit of a bust. So I know many people are excited to have a more normal Halloween this year.

What are you guys up to? I need to live through you guys a bit, so tell me about your Halloween weekend festivities!!

Around here, Halloween is a little quieter than most places. Just a small mountain town vibe. There really isn’t trick-or-treating between houses. Many of the houses are far apart and many are second homes. They do trick-or-treating on main street here, which is really cute. This will be Asher’s first time away from home for Halloween, as she is still in SoCal with my brothers. She was going to come home earlier this week but didn’t want to fly alone. So she waited for my older brother Creighton to be able to fly back with her. This means she’s spending Halloween trick-or-treating with them. She’s going to love going house to house with those guys. They’re going to have so much fun!

Asher and Creigh are planning to come home tomorrow. I’m excited to see those guys, it’s honestly been a while!

Speaking of tomorrow, it’s crazy that November is here. Does anyone else feel like they’re already behind on Thanksgiving, and even more so on Christmas? With all the supply chain issues it feels like I have no time to get everything together. It’s crazy!

After a lot of requests, we’re going to try and put out a few holiday guides this month. We’ve never done this, so I’m excited to put them together! I know everyone wants the guides as soon as possible!

Before we jump into Christmas though, we have Thanksgiving things to do! I photographed our full menu and table yesterday and will be sharing details this Wednesday. We’ll have new recipes throughout the next couple of weeks. This year’s menu is simple but delicious!!

Tomorrow I’ll start our Thanksgiving Tips series on Instagram! This is my third year doing the series and I have so much fun with it. Expect a lot of holiday talk this year. If you’re looking for some holiday inspiration today, scroll through my 2018 Thanksgiving Menu, 2019 Thanksgiving Menu, and then last year’s 2020 Thanksgiving Menu.

Question: What Thanksgiving questions do you have? Hopefully, I can help!

Question: What are your BEST Thanksgiving tips and tricks? I’ll feature all my favorites that you send in throughout the month!

Nine Favorite Things | halfbakedharvest.com

(he is just so sweet)

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

listening to…Melissa Wood-Tepperberg on The Skinny Confidential. I really enjoyed this conversation. And there are so many great product recommendations throughout here too.

traveling to…Austin in a couple of weeks. Excited for a super quick work trip and to stay at the Austin Proper. It looks so nice.

curious about…The Bearaby Weighted Blanket. I keep seeing all these things about weighted blankets and how they help with anxiety and sleep. This one from Bearaby looks really cozy. Anyone tried one?

love…my SENREVE bag. I know this is an investment, but with holiday travel coming up, this bag is perfect. I bring it with me every time I fly anywhere. It fits my computer and everything else I need. Just got my mom one too because she loved mine so much.

watching…Hocus Pocus. It’s a Halloween tradition.

love…Celeste Chunky Wool Throw. It’s a bit of a splurge, but wow this throw looks so cozy and perfect. I would love this on my bed.

excited to try…Nori Press. I just got this and honestly can’t wait to use it. It’s an iron/steamer combo. It’s going to be perfect for steaming/ironing clothes and table linens quickly. Plus, I love how small and compact it is.

ordered…too much from the Zara holiday collection. Picked up these ornaments and I love this adorable pillow. Hoping they come out with more soon, I loved their holiday collection last season.

dreaming of going… the One & Olnly Mandarina in Mexico’s Coastal Rainforest. This place looks magical and perfect for a winter vacation.

wanting…these Ganni boots. They’d be perfect to throw this winter once the snow comes and they look super cozy too.

loving…this Handmade Pie Plate. Great for pie season and really cute.

drinking…all the warming November cocktails. See my favorites here.

watching…Lovehard on Nexflix. I don’t like to start Christmas movies until Thanksgiving night, but this comes out on the 5th and I am tempted to watch.

cooking…Slow Cooker Turkey and White Bean Chili. It’s a Halloween night tradition.

import to remember…

there’s a person behind the screen reading the comments and messages you leave, kindness always wins in the end.

Cider Braised Short Ribs with Caramelized Onions | halffbakedharvest.com

Most Popular: Cider Braised Short Ribs with Caramelized Onions

Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Pumpkin Butter Bread | halfbakedharvest.com

Runner Up: Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Pumpkin Butter Bread

Simple Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com

Also have to mention: Simple Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken Meatballs

Roly Poly Pumpkin Cookies | halfbakedharvest.com

My personal favorite: Roly Poly Pumpkin Cookies

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup | halfbakedharvest.com

Ok, last one: Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup – mom’s favorite!

3. Hostess gifts for entertaining season…

never show up empty handed, here are my current favorite hostess gifts

 

4. Favorite questions of the week.

q: Would you ever do an IG story where you teach Asher how to cook/bake?
a: this would be so much fun. yes! what recipe should I teach her to make??

q: Are your hands immune to heat from cooking so much?
a: basically. but as you have all seen, I have plenty of cuts, burns, and scars on them. so they’re not bulletproof.

q: can you share more about how you manage the business side of things?
a: sure! what do you want to know exactly?

q: what is your favorite pumpkin recipe?
a: Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting.

q: do your cookbooks have different recipes from the blog?
a: yes! the books are totally separate from the blog with all new recipes.

q: how much time do you spend in the kitchen each day?
a: from like 8:30 am to 8 pm. not fully cooking all those hours but it’s a lot of time between cooking, photography, and filming recipes.

q: do you have to remake recipes if you’re not pleased with the video taping outcome?
a: yes. all the time 🙁

q: favorite fall layer for your hikes?
a: a lightweight down jacket. in the winter I put a windbreaker over it. I just ordered this from The North Face to try out.

q: what’s an easy way to get the skin off of butternut squash?
a: either roast the squash halves, then scoop out the flesh or use a knife to cut the skin off the raw squash. a vegetable peeler works too but I find a knife easier

q: how often do you make a recipe and it doesn’t make the cut or you decide not to post it?
a: once or twice a week

q: sweater or sweatshirt?
a: well I love them both but I live in a hoodie or crew neck when I’m at home.

q: how do you monetize when you are just starting out?
a: I wouldn’t expect to make money the first 1-2 years if you’re getting into content creation. you need to build your audience and more importantly build their trust. without both, you’ll never be able to go very far, at least in my opinion

q: how do you take such beautiful photos? Lighting and staging are always perfect.
a: I use all natural daylight, never any artificial light, which can get really tricky this time of year due to lack of actual daylight. but it’s what I know best, and I think it makes food look the very best too. aside from lighting (which is HUGE) it took many years of photographing food daily to actually improve and develop my own style. basically though, I love to make all things pretty and pleasing to my eye. growing up I styled clothes, now I  style food. And guys, trust me, I still struggle with photos. making food look good is freaking hard!!

q: do you take your pictures on your camera in manual mode?
a: yes, always! it’s how my brother taught me to shoot.

q: advice for someone who just lost a best friend? Just misunderstood/grew apart.
a: that’s so hard! I’m sorry you’re going through that. I think it’s important to remember that people change. and while some people grow together, others just don’t, and that’s ok! if a friendship is feeling strained, breaks are needed. you never know, you could reconnect in a few years. right now I would say to focus on the friends/family you do have around. the ones that are adding happiness to you’re life. find a new hobby to meet new people or focus on something you really love! or hey, get into cooking! it’s such a good distraction 🙂

q: are you a fan of breakfast for dinner?
a: yes, yes, yes!! it’s my favorite. my usuals are pancakes, Nonnie’s Dutch baby, or toast with sunny side up eggs. and then hot chocolate cause that’s what my mom would do

q: Do you ever get to watch any tv shows/movies? If so what’s your favorite?
a: literally never 😩 it’s so bad. but I’m currently rewatching Harry Potter for the 19th million time while I edit photos.

q: what is the best kitchen gadget?
a: I use the basics… stand mixer, food processor, crockpot, instant pot occasionally, and then a cookie scoop! I’m really not big on kitchen gadgets. I love to keep things simple. oh, and of course, my espresso machine. is that a kitchen gadget? and since we’re on the topic, I do love the Breville milk frother too.

q: how do you deal with the trolls? You don’t seem to acknowledge that side and I admire that.
a: exactly that! I don’t give them energy. In the end, if I take the time to respond, they’re getting what they want. Which is to be heard, and to take up my time. I have zero tolerance for that 🙂 by not acknowledging them, they’re getting completely ignored…as if I never saw the comment. Trust me, it can be hard, and some of them definitely get to me, especially if I’m already having a bad day. internet trolls are the worst and they seem to know just the right time to hit you when you’re down. but you’ve got to ignore them and keep on doing what you’re doing.

q: When you first started the blog, did you attempt to make money, or were you only content focused?
a: only content focused. I didn’t even think I could make money at first.

5. It’s the month of giving…do something special for someone.

Excited to share that we’ve decided to highlight a new charity each Sunday leading up to Christmas. Rollin’ from the Heart is one my mom recently found. It was founded by the parents of Ian “Poods” Barry. Below is the organization’s missions statement…

Providing disadvantaged and at-risk youth the opportunity to participate in skateboarding, surfing, and camping in an effort to promote a more active lifestyle and encourage positive choices.

My parents have always been all about getting outside. It releases endorphins and helps to give you a better perspective for dealing with issues.

Here are some ways you can direct your giving!
$1.00 – 1 Slap bracelet with a motivational message
$2.00 – Skateboard Grip-tape
$5.00 – A set of Skateboard wheels
$10.00 – A RFTH logoed T shirt for our after school participants
$20.00 – Will provide 1 new Skate deck
$35.00 – Provides 1 complete skateboard
$50.00 – 1 complete skateboard and helmet
$100.00 – Snacks for 2 after-school skate sessions
$700.00 – Provides a full week Campership to the YMCA Skate Camp in Lake Sequoia plus transportation
$2000.00 – Will help us purchase a Mini mobile skate park to donate to one of our After School skate site locations.

Learn more and how to help support here.

Question: what are the charities you support? Please leave your favorites in the comments fur us to look into and possibly highlight in the coming weeks!

Additionally, the funny thing about me is that I love to give gifts, but hate receiving them. It’s weird, but gift giving is actually one of my very favorite things to do. Lately, I’ve been sending out small gifts any time I see something that I know someone would love but might not grab for themselves. It’s so much fun and it can really make someone’s day, or even week. It lets that person know you’re thinking of them. If I had more time (and endless money), I’d honestly be doing it more.

Since November (and December) are all about giving, I thought I’d share some of my favorite gifts to send out randomly or sweet things to do for a friend. These can be products. Or just doing something nice to help them out throughout the day, which is totally free! On Instagram, I’ll often give out Starbucks gift cards. And I love to send off my favorite candles to anyone who’d enjoy them. If there was time, it would be so fun to send out sweets too…but I usually save that for my Christmas cookie boxes.

  1. Email over a Starbucks gift card to anyone feeling under the weather…I love their fun seasonal cards too.
  2. Do a chore that you normally don’t do for your partner…such a nice surprise.
  3. Send a care package to a friend that just had a baby…this is such a sweet surprise.
  4. Send someone flowers or a holiday candle for no reason…these 2 are my personal go-to.
  5. Cook someone their favorite dinner.
  6. Send someone a hand-written letter in the mail…always fun to get a handwritten note.
  7. Say hello to everyone you cross paths with…I’m a firm believer that we should always do this. It’s so odd to me when you don’t acknowledge someone.
  8. Babysit someone’s children for free…they’ll love you forever.

Just small, small things…but fun and usually very appreciated!

(Asher and Hailey’s pumpkins)

6. Inspiring me…Thanksgiving tablescape edition.

This year, I’m doing a full table and serving most of the food buffet style. Using the below photos for inspo. How do you guys set your Thanksgiving tables?

(Eye-Swoon)

(Marly Dice)

(Liz Marie)

(Happily Ever After)

(Style Souffle)

Step Inside Vanessa Hudgens’s Transporting Los Feliz Home…her kitchen is perfection. I love the moody green color, the tiles, all of it. Same with her cozy brown dining nook.

Camille Charrière’s Marble Dining Table Is the Heartbeat of Her Home…so pretty and unique.

The 200-Year-Old History Behind Why We Carve Pumpkins…you learn something new every day.

Have You Tried Backcombing Your Brows…you might want to try this for fuller brows.

10 Things to Do If Your Confidence Needs a Major Boost…I needed to read this.

30 Black Jackets That’ll Instantly Become Wardrobe Staples…I love this Free People Jacket for every day.

7 Nail Colors That Are Thanksgiving Classics…very into these autumn tones.

No Halloween Plans…here are 8 spooky things you can do at home.

Did Adele Just Predict The Newest Interior Design Trend…love this rich burgundy color.

12 Self-Care Practices That Are Completely Free…love #2, and #3 is my personal go-t0.

The Best Beauty Gift Sets To Buy…so many good ones, I’d grab that Tatcha set for sure.

The Crucial Thing Missing From Your Workout Routine…I need to stretch more.

13 Starbucks Hacks You Need to Know…if you’re a Starbucks junky, read this.

50 Amazon Finds That Will Elevate Your Work-From-Home Setup…if you need a spruce up.

Feels Like a Steal…A winter-ready puffer under $200.

7 Stunning Real Estate Developments with Private Restaurants…real deal luxury living.

Now You Can Climb Outside a Skyscraper to the Top of New York City…I probably wouldn’t do this.

8. Under $100 fashion finds for November…

 

9. This week’s dinners + weekend eats…

Creamy Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Pasta | halfbakedhavrest.com

Monday: Creamy Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Pasta

Creamy White Lasagna Soup | halfbakedharvest.com

Tuesday: Creamy White Lasagna Soup

Creamed Mushroom and Brie Chicken | halfbakedharvest.com

Wednesday: Creamed Mushroom and Brie Chicken

Coconut Sweet Potato Lentil Soup with Rice | halfbakedharvest.com #soup #healthy #dinner #autumnrecipes #vegan

Thursday: Coconut Sweet Potato Lentil Soup with Rice

30 Minute Coq au Vin Chicken Meatballs with browned Butter Mashed Potatoes | halfbakedharvest.com #meatballs #easyrecipe #dinner

Friday: Coq au Vin Chicken Meatballs with Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

Pumpkin Head Punch | halfbakedharvest.com

Saturday: Pumpkin Head Punch

Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting | halfbakedhavest.com

Sunday: Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting

Related PostsView All Nine Favorite Things

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Comments

  1. MS Run the US – they raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis by relay running across the country. They go through steamboat springs and multiple other small mountain towns (I think) near you. Please, highlight them.

  2. My Thanksgiving tip – particularly if you are tackling your first – is to take a piece of paper. Write the time you want to eat at the bottom. Then slot in everything you have to do at particular times, including oven temps, etc. You don’t forget anything and you wake up knowing that your stuffing won’t be done 3 hours before the turkey is done! Also brine the turkey the night before. Not only does it enhance the flavor but it also gives you time to make sure the darn bird is thawed 🙂

  3. Do you ever cook for Oslo? What does he eat? Do you have any baby-friendly recipes? I have a 12 month old and figuring out what to feed him is a struggle!

  4. Hello!
    You have a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays where everything feels cozy. My question is how will you acknowledge and celebrate indigenous peoples in North America and in your area?
    Warmly,
    Ann

  5. Hi! I had a friend recommend your IG for fall recipes and I have had so much fun with your pumpkin bread and butter recipes. I literally never bake so it was a nice change of pace for the Fall and for my boys who love anything sweet.
    My shameless charity recommendation (I work here! 😀 ) is Providence House in Shreveport, LA. We’re a homeless shelter for families with children. We help them become self-sufficient through work force development and education. It’s extremely rewarding and heart warming to see these families grow, graduate and become the best versions of themselves. I love you care about philanthropy. People helping people- that’s what it’s all about. Love from LA, Maegan

    1. Hi there! Thank you so much, so glad you are enjoying the pumpkin recipes! I also really appreciate the recommendation for the charity, I’ll definitely check that out! xTieghan

  6. Hey Tieghan! Last year in December I bought a 5 pack of Starbucks gift cards at $5 apiece and gave them to sales people during the busy shopping season. It made me happier than it did them, so now I have one on hand all the time. My favorite charity is a foodbank in my town and any foodbank does wonderful work. The idea of food insecurity in this country is just crazy to me. Thanks for your great ideas for giving.

  7. I have two Bearaby and I bought one for my granddaughter. Have recommended them to friends who love them, too!

  8. I have the Bearaby Velvet Napper and can say it’s absolutely fabulous. I’m a restless sleeper and it has made such a difference in how fast I fall asleep and stay in deep sleep. Could not recommend more! Buy one, you won’t regret it!

  9. Hi Tieghan, thanksgiving question for you. I use your herbed turkey recipe and it always turns out amazing. This year I want to make both a turkey and a duck. My grandma would always make duck for Christmas and she passed away this past year. I have no idea how I would do both though.. oven space on thanksgiving is a tricky puzzle as is! Any tips and ideas would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    Looking forward to your guides, those are always super helpful. Thank you, happy Halloween!!

  10. Thank you so much for this post! I look forward to these 9 favorite things posts every week. They’re a major part of my weekend self-care rituals 🙂

    I have a few thoughts I wanted to share:
    1. I’m so excited you’re coming to Austin!!! It’s my hometown. I hope you love it and get to try some great breakfast tacos. I’ve been wanting to check out the Austin Proper as well. That area of downtown is great-lots of cute shops and restaurants.
    2. I have a Bearaby weighted blanket and I love it and cannot recommend it enough. I’m a terrible sleeper, and it helps me stay asleep throughout the night. Plus with the way it’s woven, it’s cooler than I expected.
    3. Question: How many recipes do you usually work on in a given day? Are you focusing on one from start to finish, or working on different elements of several?
    4. My family gives to Justice for Our Neighbors, which provides free or low-cost immigration legal services to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

    1. Hey Erica! Thanks so much for the input on some recommendations for Austin and the weighted blanket as well! xTieghan

  11. I love the candle idea mentioned below. I am a huge candle person and order many you post about it. Having them all in one place would be great! Thanks!

  12. Hi! Lovely post as always! Question: did I miss your Mom’s hot chocolate tutorial? You mentioned it in your Sunday post a few weeks back…
    Thanks! Happy Halloween!

  13. Tiegan, your recipes look marvelous this week (actually every week). I am like you, love giving, not so much receiving. My favorite charities are Healthwell Foundation. They offer grants for cancer patients, of which I am one, to help cover co-pays. My chemo medicine is $29,000 a month and I have never had to pay a cent thanks to Healthwell. We also give monthly to St Jude’s. And also, when able to, Second Harvest food bank.

  14. For a gift guide, i would love to see a master list of all the candles you love. You mention candles often, but I’d have to click into each Sunday post to compare all of them. Maybe they could be categorized by season or by price.