Happy November

Hello there, November. 

I want to thank you for the kindness you showed me last month about the return of this series. I got so many sweet comments and emails and I appreciate each and every one. 

When you have been doing this as long as I have, it often feels like you are typing out into darkness and there is no one out there, but when you get to have a real conversation with someone, you are reminded why you come back to post time and time again. So thank you. I had no idea how much I needed that. 

puppy and big dog cuddling

So tomorrow is a big day here in the US. Election Day is bringing out a lot of feelings and I’m already maxed out in the feelings departments. 

I know that I will be glued to the TV even though it is not super healthy for me. 

For someone that has spent over 40+ years of her life trying to not have a lot of feelings, 2020 has presented me with so many feelings, and let’s just say it’s been a lot. The news and social media are both triggers for me, and I need to take long breaks from them to regroup. 

orleans cape cod

What I know to be true is that people that I love want a different outcome than I do and I need to be respectful of that.

They are also very upset with me for wanting that outcome. It’s something that I’ve had to learn to be ok with. 

We have to live in a world where people that don’t agree can live together peacefully. 

There are people who have opinions that do matter to me.

And even when you disagree on fundamental values and things, you need to find a way to coexist.

It’s hard, it takes a lot of patience and love and understanding, but you need to do it and hope that they do the same for you. 

There are also a lot of people whose opinions do not matter to me. And those I’m happy to let go of.

I’m sure you have some too. The “friend” from high school you haven’t spoken to since graduation that only reaches out when they want to sell you something or the guy you briefly dated in college that was a jerk then and is still a jerk?

Those you can let go of without a second thought.

But there are people that you are going to have to figure out a way to be in relationship with when you know you have very different outlooks on the world.

apple cider doughnuts on a plate

The fighting and arguing and discord is just too much.

For starters, you aren’t going to change someone’s mind in a Facebook post, so I don’t understand why people feel the need to duke it out there. 

Secondly, if you weren’t sitting behind a computer screen, would you say that to someone’s face?

I use that as a barometer for every single thing that I write on the Internet. People are very emboldened when they don’t have to look at the person they are speaking to. 

I don’t think that the election is going to wrap up nicely on Election Night (even though that would be amazing) so we are going to have to pace ourselves. 

cape cod sunset

For me, that means that I need to maybe take some breaks and go outside, take the dogs on some talks, get some fresh air, take some Twitter hiatuses, pepper in some vegetables with my junk food, and turn off the news and my phone. This is an exercise in self-care. 

When the results do come out, we might not like the outcome. They might really upset us and make us feel powerless. Resist the urge to lash out.

If we do like the outcome, please don’t gloat or be the “I told you so” kind of person. Maybe take a step back and remember it’s just not nice. 

This is going to be messy and I think we’re all going to be need to be extra kind to each other. And by extra kind, I mean, start being kind.

Extra kind might mean if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. It might be a good place to start. 

chocolate lab at the beach

The other elephant in the room is the fact that we are probably headed to another lockdown here in Massachusetts.

As of Friday, the high school had to go full remote and it knocked the wind out of my sails. We were doing so awesome and now our numbers are the highest they have ever been. It’s a gut punch. 

So I guess the theme of October and November is self-care.

How can I take the best care of myself mentally to get through these challenging months? 

  • Get outside, even if it’s freezing. It’s amazing how much better I feel after some fresh air. 
  • Cook more. I know that sounds strange coming from me, but I’m either all in or all out with the cooking these days. It’s either a full-on 3-course home-cooked meal, take-out, or make yourself a bowl of cereal for dinner.
  • Freely use the unfriend/unfollow button. I’ve been doing this a lot lately, and it’s been helping. I don’t believe in curating an experience where I only see people that are just like me, but I also don’t need to have bad juju up in my space either, there is a difference. It gives me a lot of peace. 
  • Cozy it up. Light the candles. Buy a new blanket. Cuddle clothes. Light a fire. If we can’t really go anywhere, we might as well get as comfy as we can, right?
  • Do something nice for someone else. Even when you are stuck at home, there is still a lot you can do for someone. Send a card, a care package, a voice message. Check-in on a friend that might be lonely. 
  • When in doubt, Harry Styles
dad and son standing next to each other

OCTOBER HIGHLIGHTS //

Will’s Cross Country season was short, but we were so grateful for the Saturday meets. We had perfect weather, lots of PRs, and there is nothing more encouraging than watching a bunch of parent’s cheering for runners on a course. 

Will is also taller than us now. Just barely, but it counts.

The dogs. They are idiots, but we love them so much. Beau is 13 weeks now and feisty. He and Mac Dubh love each other and play so well together. Two dogs really are easier than one. They cuddle together and it is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. 

erica and bill gamble pinhole press

I took a solo day trip to the Cape to shoot my good friends Bill and Erica. It was soul food. Time alone in the car, the smell of the ocean, and adult conversation. 

Going to the apple orchard with my friend Joy. She took my branding photos and we had such a good time together we decided to hang out. We went to pick apples and I am so grateful to have made a new friend. She also brought her camera and took some more photos. I’m trying to get better about having my picture taken. I suggest taking a pro with you.

bree hester boston food photographer

My sister and her family came for a quick visit. I never remember to take pictures while they are here, but we had a great time. She made us a lasagna feast (3 different kinds!) and I love having them. 

We had our first snow! I love a snow day and our first did not disappoint. I thought we were just going to get some flurries, but we actually had some real snow. Beau LOVED the snow. Watching him run in the snow and his ears flop was the cutest thing ever.

puppy with snow on his nose

THINGS I’M LOVING //

My good friends Denise and Lenny love to travel and since they are unable to they decided to spend a month exploring a country. They spent a month in Italy and I loved following along in their Stories. One of the greatest gifts of the pandemic was all of the Zoomies I had with these two. I adore them. 

Hey Dudes are the most comfortable house shoe/slipper. They are actually a real shoe, but I wear these as a slipper and I’m obsessed. I’ve been wearing these non-stop for the last 8-9 months (I bought my first pair a few weeks before lockdown) and I barely take them off.

I love a sweater or cardigan. I have a new-to-me store, FatFace, that has the best sweaters. I bought quite a few and I love them all.

I bought these wreath-making kits to be shipped to my sister and my house and we are going to make them together – but separately – a few days after Thanksgiving. The holidays are going to look different, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be fun.

Cheeseboards for dinner. I really have been struggling with making dinner every night. Some nights I have the energy to do and some nights I don’t. But I usually can always get it together enough to throw together a fun cheeseboard and call it a meal.

Lush Bath Bombs are worth having to clean your tub afterward. When we moved houses, I got a big bathtub and I make sure to use it. I treat myself to a Lush Bath Bomb and dole them out as needed. They make a mess, but I am hypnotized watching them fizz in the warm water.

I may have purchased a few mugs to add to my holiday mug collection during the Anthropologie sale a few weeks ago. They are CUTE this year. I am so excited to show them off.

big dipper

What have you been loving this month? Let me know in the comments.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using any of these links, I make a small percentage of that sale at no cost you.

Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

raspberry orange pistachio ricotta cake slices on a wire rack

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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. txgirl

    I’m so happy to get something from you today….it’s been ages since you appeared in my inbox and I always like to know what you are reading and cooking! I don’t know if you have been gone or if your email has been lost in cyberspace? Tomorrow has me feeling anxious. Throw covid on top of the election and it’s been a stressful year. All I know is I’m having a drink(s) tomorrow, one way or another. :-0

    1. Bree Hester

      I send all the time, you should check your spam folder. It has been a stressful year that is for sure!

  2. Susan

    So glad you’re back. You’ve been missed. Loved your Friday emails. Once a month will be great.

    1. Bree Hester

      Thanks Susan. I can’t so weekly anymore, but once a month I can handle.

  3. Nancy

    Hi Bree: Thank you for this post. It spoke to me and was exactly what I (and I imagine many others) needed today. Well done.

    1. Bree Hester

      You are welcome Nancy.

  4. Sharon Neel

    You express your feelings so we’ll and hit the nail on the head as to how many of us feel. Thanks you! I am always so excited to see your posts. Be well!

    1. Bree Hester

      Thank you Sharon, I appreciate that!

  5. Jane

    Tried your Brined Turkey Breast over the weekend—big hit! Delicious & so tender—just the right amount for us & for sandwiches today! Hoping you continue the monthly posts—great to “visit” with you—feel like I’ve watched your kids grow up along the way & through your moves. My husband is a retired Navy flight surgeon, so he likes to hear about your husband’s adventures, too!

    1. Bree Hester

      I will keep them up, monthly is much more doable than weekly. My kids have gotten so big, Will can vote in the next election! I bet your husband has seen some things. Ha!

  6. Nancy

    Dear Bree,
    Thank you so much for this much needed post. I love seeing the pictures of you dogs – how can you not smile looking at these beautiful creatures?
    but more importantly, I’m grateful for your words on the election. I too, like many people, have friends and family who will vote differently than I will. I will now practice
    Kindness. And if my candidate wins, I will keep my extreme joy and relief to myself. I will be rereading your post all this week!
    Stay strong and stay healthy.
    Nancy
    Michigan

    1. Bree Hester

      They have kept me very happy lately. You too Nancy, hang in there!

  7. jennifer

    Reading this,I feel more relaxed.Thank you for the reminders to self care during this extra tense times.Loved the snow on the puppy nose!

    1. Bree Hester

      You are welcome. He loved the snow so much. I hope it’s a snowy winter.

  8. Linda Lyman

    I missed reading a few issues, dealing with my mom’s last days. (At 92, with dementia, she contracted COVID and did not survive i. I am just getting my feet back under me, really starting to process that she is gone. We were unable to visit with her for months, since her facility was locked down. But I actually got an in-person visit the day before she was diagnosed. It was worth the 14 day quarantine required after that exposure to know I was able to give her a hug in person the week before she passed away. I should erase this and not be a downer, but it helps me to talk about it a little.
    Okay, done moaning and groaning. Have you noticed the squirrels have been super active this fall? I also have been fighting an invasin of crickets coming into our house. This makes me wonder what the critters know about the coming winter that we humans don’t know.
    I totally understand you feelings on cooking every night. I have a friend eho. like me, seldom ate out, and who, like me, is a believer in a home cooked family dinner every night. Both of us find knowing we can’t go out (even if we normally wouldn’t go out) to be frustrating and both of us are hardheartedly sick of cooking! I am going to adopt your cheese board idea. I already have a couple of “heat your own leftovers” nights each week, so this will give me one or two more nights off.
    And now that I am back to somewhat normal, I plan to cruise through your recipes to find some new idea. Thank you for being there, and for listening.

    1. Bree Hester

      I am so sorry about your mom. Truly. It’s not the cooking so much that I am tired of, it’s the dishes and cleaning up that I am really tired of.

  9. judy lyon

    Glad you are writing letters again. And recipes. I don’t think I have ever tried one that we did not like. I wanted to say something about cooking. I LOVE to cook and am so grateful. My mom disliked it so much and it caused her stress. I like planning, grocery store shopping (my husband and I do it together) and cooking. And I am so grateful at the age of 78 that I have time to do this , as opposed to when I was teaching, raising three children and managing a household. Time is a gift.

    But my husband also enjoy eating out and choose restaurants that have outdoor seating (this may change with winter coming). But we also do take out.

    I am worried about our country and pray more than I ever have that we can accept each other and count our blessings and be civil. Blessing to all .

    1. Bree Hester

      Thank you Judy. I am so glad that you like them. I like to cook most of the time. I have to be honest though, I am tired of the dishes.

  10. JC

    Cute dogs-love your blog!

    1. Bree Hester

      Thank you! We think they are pretty cute too. 🙂

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