Nine Favorite Things
What a fun week! We launched our Pumpkin Smash candle with Snif and it has honestly been so much fun. As with everything I’ve ever launched, I was nervous. Not as nervous as a cookbook launch, I spend years on those and there’s more to them, but still nervous. Most importantly, I want you all to LOVE this candle as much as I do. It is quite honestly my favorite thing right now. And one of the most special projects I’ve been able to work on.
I’m so thankful to Bryan and Phil, the founders of Snif, for giving me this opportunity. I’ve spent the last few years searching out candle brands that use only clean, non-toxic ingredients and it’s been tricky. Snif candles are like no other. They’re 100% non-toxic with cotton wicks and they burn down beautifully. And most importantly, they really smell so incredible.
I burn candles every single night, just as my Nonnie used to. It’s the nightly ritual I look forward to the most when I’m at home. Creating my own fall-scented candle has been a dream of mine for the last few years. I was never able to find a candle that really embodied the coziness of fall. So that’s the candle we created.
I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
Anyway, I know how much I’ve been gushing about this candle for the last month. So I will end this rant here. But before I do I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported and already ordered the candle. The response has been crazy. You all continue to blow my mind with your love, kindness, and support. Thank you for being the best supporters. You all are the best and you feel like family to us!!
OK. But what else is going on? So much, and so many really good things. It’s such an exciting time for me and HBH as our brand continues to grow. We have a big/fun week ahead as I’ll be out of town for work. Per usual, I’m going to leave most of my travel plans as a surprise. I’m hoping you’ll all follow along with this week. I just love a good surprise, and you all seem to have fun with it! So more to come this week and then, of course, a full recap next Sunday!
Where do you think I’m headed? What am I doing? It’s a hodge-podge of items, so take your guess!
Moving along, we celebrated our 10-year anniversary on Wednesday! Well, we didn’t really celebrate, but it’s crazy that my mom and I have been working on HBH for 10 years now. You guys have really watched me grow up. I was such a baby when I wrote that very first post. I’m hoping to steal my mom away for a little bit tonight, I have something for her! And to you guys! I did a cookbook bundle giveaway on Instagram. If you missed it, keep your eyes peeled for more giveaways soon – for both the book and now the candle!
Tuesday was Oslo’s 2nd birthday, so we celebrated that too! Lots of celebration and excitement this week. We kept his birthday very simple, but he had fun! And he loved his birthday cake, which apparently was a group effort by my mom, dad, and Asher! I guess they all helped!
Jumping ahead a couple of days to Thursday night. I had a fun book signing in our town. It was small and easy, but fun to do something close to home.
And now I’m here, working through this post. I have lots of packing to do this weekend, but Asher has been majorly helping me to keep everything organized! I have so much fun traveling (never thought I would say that) and being able to put together cute looks. Tapping into the side of me that loves fashion is so much fun.
And lastly, I just have to say that we’ve had the nicest fall weather the last few days. So happy no big snow has come yet. I’m soaking up every minute of the beautiful orange/yellow trees. Fall came so much later this year and it’s lasted longer too!
Have such a nice Sunday! If any of you have gotten your Pumpkin Smash candle, have the coziest day burning it away! I recommend baking up some cinnamon crunch knots to go along with it, oh so cozy. Or if you’re like me, and saving it for a Sunday night slow burn, a cider margarita is super cozy too.
Enjoy! And happy Sunday!
1. things i’m loving, wanting, and excited to try.
everything in my cart (low)…From Zara, love their satin effect midi skirt. It would be cute with these buckled leather biker boots, which totally remind me of my Frye boots. And from Free People, I’m loving this laid-back mock neck sweater. And I’ve been wanting this hit the slopes fleece for months. Also, this cable knit sweater. So cozy!
listening to…All About the Home and Building a House from the Ground Up with design experts Dan Scotti and Mmi Brown.
dreaming of going…Chateau Royal Berlin. Oh wow, what a stunning hotel. And traveling to Berlin has always been a must-see/experience location on my list.
reading…Strategic Starters for a Dinner Party. Possibly one of the best hostess pieces of advice.
everything beauty…curious to test out a few new to me finds. In the skincare department, this probiotic spray-on serum, helps hydrates, soothes, and visibly firms, lifts, and plumps the skin. And then, Skin Ceutical phyto correct gel, which I actually just started using. So far, it’s great! Also, how wonderful does this Love, Pumpkin Oil Butter from Crate + Jane sound? I am a sucker for anything pumpkin right now.sounds like it works like magic. And then the new Kosas
I’m currently loving the Phlur somebody wood eau de parfum fragrance. It’s cozy for fall.
Everyone is talking about lymphatic drainage. I’d love to try doing it at home with this body tool, which is free this weekend with every Nécessaire purchase. Speaking of the body, I’ve been loving the Kate McLeod body stones. I have the daily stone and would like to order the grounding stone. I’ve been using the stone nightly and it has kept my skin so moisturized. And lastly, I need to order the GOOP dry brush already.
wanting…this bundle of long, fancy matches from McGee and co.
everything in my cart (high)…this Jonathan Simkhai faux fur & faux leather jacket and this Stella McCartney altermat belted coat are both very cute. Asher would love them both. Also, from Stella McCartney, this quilted down coat. And I could live in this Trefe quilted down coat from Max Mara. My mom would love this one!
How cozy does this funnel neck bell sleeve oversize sweater from Maje look? And speaking of cozy, the Tibi oversized fleece sweatershirt is in my Net-A-Porter cart. Also from Net-A-Porter, if I want to splurge big time, I’d go for this Gucci 1955 textured-leather shoulder bag. What a pretty bag.
shopping…Christmas 2022 advent calendars. I am obsessed with finding the perfect one to surprise Asher with. Do you have a favorite? My top 3 right now…Asher wants this George and Viv Grand Hotel from Anthropologie. Their Hansel Village is super cute too. And for something more kid friendly, my parents have this cute Santa.
cooking…Roasted Squash with Brown Butter and Hazelnut. This sounds sooo delicious. I have to make it!
2. October baking with pumpkin.
3. Trim the tree with Terrain.
Ordered before they all sell out!
4. Favorite questions of the week.
q: are you excited for soup season?
a: Very excited for soup season! Any requests?
q: favorite NYC hotels? Where do you love to stay?
a: So I usually stay in NoHo and I love it because it’s pretty much in the middle of the city. But I stayed close to Central Park on this last trip and also loved it. Partly because the Park Hyatt New York was so amazing.
But they’re different vibes and both have a lot to offer. it’s hard to say and really depends on the trip I think!
q: Favorite NY restaurants?
a: For restaurants, Via Carota is so good, I love it. I finally went to Russ and Daughters for bagels (thanks to Monica Padman for telling me to go here). Everything was awesome. And then Bemelmans Bar inside The Carlyle is fun. I also love the pizza at Gemma the restaurant attached to The Bowery Hotel. And the RW Guild is kind of a must-see restaurant, it’s really pretty. Loved Saint Theos too. There are so many good spots! I honestly have not been to nearly enough.
q: what was it like being in the city on September 11th?
a: Very special, emotional, and cool to see everyone’s love and respect for this city.
q: would you ever move to New York?
a: I love coming here so much, but no I don’t think I could be here full time. I love the quietness of where I live and the space.
q: do you really not season your cast iron?
a: No. Staub cast iron is enamel coated, so you don’t need to season it. And yes! Don’t wash cast iron unless you really have to. Just rinse it out and wipe it dry, or dry it on the stove over an open flame (what I do). Not washing cast iron just continues to keep the iron seasoned and preserved. I don’t have separate skillets for things like fish, but some people definitely do that.
q: favorite apple recipe to bake?
a: These are a favorite with everyone – Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts with Cinnamon Maple Glaze
q: which bag did you get Asher for her birthday?
a: The Staud Alec Bag in cream.
q: favorite designer shoes you own?
a: So many questions about my shoes today?! I love these Jimmy Choo boots more than anything right now. But I have a pair of Christian Louboutin that are classics. And then my grandma’s Gucci slide kitten heels will always be extra special (and also they’re incredible).
q: were you and your siblings homeschooled?
a: We all went to public school growing up. Asher did too until covid. Now she does an online program.
5. Happy 10 years!
As I mentioned above, Wednesday marked 10 years of Half Baked Harvest. I was so young when I wrote that very first recipe for butternut squash soup with ghost croutons. It’s crazy to look back and see how much the website, the brand, and myself have grown. I thought I would share the highlights from past years, starting back in 2012 and ending with 2022!!
The very first year! We started late into the year, in October, but wow, have I come far photography-wise. My favorite post for this year was definitely the first, this butternut squash soup with ghost croutons.
I mean, pretty freaking cute.
Our first full year of HBH. I was 19 you guys!! This was the year I realized I could really do this and do this as a career. We saw growth within this first year and after working on it non-stop, my mom and I slowly and organically started to call this blogging thing “work”.
I think my favorite recipe for 2013 has to be my homemade naan. To this day it’s still in the top 5 most popular recipes of all time. I make a fresh batch pretty much weekly.
Ohhh. Wait scratch that. This was also the year I shared my 5 ingredient honey butter beer bread. This is my favorite recipe. Possibly ever.
This was the year we moved to the property where we live now. I lived at home for most of this year, until we were able to renovate the horse barn on the property to be my home and workspace.
This was also the year I shared my mom’s famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. To this day, that recipe remains one of the top 20 most popular recipes on HBH of all time. I need to edit that recipe however, it’s written so poorly!
Oh, also this, Homemade Holidays: Let’s Make the House Smell Like Christmas. My FAVORITE and yet another top 20 blog post.
My first year in my own house!! Oh, I loved this special time. It was nice to be so close to my family, but also on my own and away from them. This was a great year. And I slowly started to see more improvements in my photography too!
This was also the year I shared my butter-roasted turkey. Another recipe in the top 20 ever on HBH. I make this turkey every single Thanksgiving. It’s a tried and true staple for so many of you, which feels so special to me. Also, I shared my first Thanksgiving menu this year too!
We made our first hire in 2016! Granted it didn’t last long, but if I remember correctly I was just starting to work on the HBH cookbook and feeling overwhelmed. We tried someone over the summer, but ultimately it did not work out. It’s OK though! We’ve come so far since then.
The go-to recipe for the year has to be the crockpot cider braised short ribs.
The very first Half Baked Harvest cookbook!! Oh my gosh, yes I have come so far! But this is a special book, the very first, and it’s a cookbook that I know many of you still love!! This was a crazy, exciting year.
I shared my first Christmas cookie box in December of 2017 and it’s been one of my favorite traditions on the site ever since. I loved this box.
And for a recipe, my favorite was my vanilla chai white Russian.
The year Red took home a gold medal in the 2018 winter Olympics in South Korea. Obviously, this was the highlight of the year. Read all the highlights from the trip here and here. They’re fun to look back on!
We also moved into the studio in September of 2018! I was able to separate my home from my work and it was/is the greatest luxury.
SUPER SIMPLE came out in October 2019!! This was a fun release because it was the first book I got to travel for. And I had so much fun! This was also the first book to make the New York Times bestseller list. So all-in-all, a pretty GOOD year.
2020. The year that shook everyone. Ehhh, I hate to even touch on this year too much because I know it was so difficult for so many. That being said, this was a huge year of growth for us. While others were struggling, the online communities thrived. I think we doubled in size. So while this was an awful time, it was exciting and very busy for us.
This was also the year sweet Oslo welcomed himself into our family. He’s brought more joy and happiness to us than I could ever explain. So for us 2020 was an incredible year and one we will happily never forget.
I shared so my good recipes this year, but my personal highlights were the apple cinnamon rolls with brown butter maple icing, homestyle chicken noodle soup, and my easy vanilla bean Christmas tree light cookies.
With 2022 came the release of the Half Baked Harvest Every Day cookbook! Oh, this cookbook. It was a hard one to create, but watching its success has been incredible. 20+ weeks on the New York time best seller list, 5 stars on Amazon, and the most incredible feedback and support from you all! It’s been such a fun book to share with you guys and there is only more to come!
And here we are! 2022 and still cranking away!
6. Inspiring me – moody, spooky October.
(all above photos from Pinterest)
7. Favorite links i’m loving.
50 Halloween Nail Ideas That Aren’t Cheesy…love all of these.
6 Real-Life Places You Can Visit Inspired By Your Favorite Fall Movies…so fun.
What to Eat in Paris Right Now…time to book that fall trip.
…do you have a favorite?
…wow, so incredible.
…such pretty locations
…who knew a bathroom could be so pretty.
…some ideas for you.
The Best Spooky Podcasts to Listen to This Month…it’s spooky season.
…such a fun, spooky idea.
…I’ve always wanted a La Cornue range.
9 Sneaky Ways to Save Money During the Week…if you need some new tips.
8. Cozy for fall.
9. This week’s dinners + weekend eats.