Favorite Things- October

As you've probably noticed from my previous few "Favorite Things" lists, I don't live a big fancy life. Actually, I'm happy to say I live a pretty small life and it's reflected in the little things I include here. They're simply things that made me smile this month and I hope they'll make you smile, too. 

1). Penguin Classics designed by Coralie-Bickford Smith
I fell in love with these Penguin book designs a while ago and was reminded of them by a student this month. I never did pick up a set and now have them on my Christmas list. If you have a reader in your life and aren't sure what to get them this holiday season...look no further! This is it, my friend!

The ones above are her new F. Scott Fitzgerald covers and holy Art Deco batman! Swoon.

2). Taken, with Liam Neesen
I love movies. Well, not sad movies. Or raunchy comedies. Or Kung-Fu type movies. Except I loved Fried Green Tomatoes even though I sobbed during that one and I thought The Hangover was hilarious and I couldn't take my eyes off Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. So, I guess I just love good movies and they seem to pop up less and less these days. So, it was to my great surprise and delight on a chilly and lazy Sunday a couple of weeks ago that Shawn and I, while deciding how to spend the rest of our day, stumbled across this movie just as it was coming on HBO. He had seen it before and said it was good and I saw it was set in Paris and well, that's all she wrote. If you haven't seen it and you're looking for a great dvd to rent...this is it. Intense and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I give it 2 thumbs up! Way up!

3). "Fall of Giants", by Ken Follett
It will probably come to no surprise to hear me say, once again, how much I love my Kindle. But, I must admit that sometimes I really miss the feel of a book. A big, hefty 800 page book. And if it happens to have that "old book" smell, well, that would be perfection. As a matter of fact, as far as I'm concerned, I think book publishers should consider applying that smell to all books...even brand new ones. I might have to just ditch my Kindle if that ever happens. Anyhoo, so I was at Borders with the hubby a couple of weeks ago and this book caught my eye. I've read a few others by Ken Follett and while they are sometimes a bit slow, I love his writing style. A couple of things had me hook, line and sinker right away. One, the fact that right on the front it said this was book one of a trilogy..."Sweeeet! Something to look forward to!"...and that it's set just about at the turn of the 19th century and follows many families across the globe. I'm fairly certain I was meant to be born right around 1880 or so, which would have made me the perfect age to take in the amazing World's Fair in Chicago and ride here and there on trains and carry a parasol. So, I was about to just jot the name of the book down so I could go home and order it on my Kindle when I opened it up and started to turn the pages and oh, what beautiful pages they are. I mean, seriously! The pages are like "buttuh"! When someone takes the care to ensure the pages feel this wonderful, well, I for one am willing to pay the hard back price and carry around this heavy 1000 page treasure. So, I'm about half done with it now and I could easily just sit around all day with big fluffy slippers on my feet and a hot cup of tea sitting next to me and finish it in one sitting, but I'm savoring this one.
Click here to go to Amazon and order!

4). Last month I talked about a Chanel nail polish color (particuliere) that I fell in love with...

And while I still do love it...a lot...I found a great inexpensive alternative that is very reminiscent of the color and seems to last even longer than the Chanel. It's a new line from Sally Hansen called Complete Salon Manicure in Commander in Chief. It's a bit more gray where the Chanel is a bit more putty/brown, but they're really similar and I love them both.

5). Favorite Etsy artist of the month: Dreamer 76

Made of zippers and tapes, her jewelry is really unique and very reasonably priced ranging from $40-100ish dollars/piece. Click here to go to her site!

6). Speaking of great jewelry, I was at a local museum's gift store recently and came across a product called "Bendy Necklaces" and after seeing the amazing price of only $12/necklace and how many looks one of them gives you...I was sold. It really is just what the names says...a bendy necklace. You can create any look you want and even wear them as belts and bracelets. Check em' out!

7). Banana Crumb Muffins
Holy crap, these are good. If you need something to take to a friends house or a holiday brunch, these will be gobbled up and loved by all. Make sure to use really ripe bananas...the blacker the better.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 3-4 small-med bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup additional packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, 1/2 cup of white and 1/4 cup of brown sugars, vanilla, egg and oil. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 1/4 t of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

8.) This month I have been fairly obsessed with the idea of owning an old-skool vintage pull-behind camper. And when I say obsessed, I mean it with a capital "O". When I was little we used to go camping and fishing all the time and I have such great memories of doing it and as prices of all my favorite vacation spots seem to be sky rocketing, I've been looking at alternative options. And ya know, we aren't the type that need some crazy vacation activities...we're happy to have a beautiful view, some peace and quiet, space for the dogs to roam, a few good books and bottles of wine and each other. So, what the heck do we need a $350 dollar hotel room for? For what we would spend on a couple of 7 day vacations in lodging we could buy and fix up our own little love shack on wheels. Maybe it's tacky to some...and truth be told that's part of the charm to me...but I'm on a mission to be able to hitch up a trailer and head off to a new spot weekend after weekend. 

I could do this one with this view and this bike to get to the corner fruit and veggie stand.
Either of these could be workable, don't ya think? Done sort of like this:

Or one: 
 Done like this:

This is a great set-up:

Updated comme ca:

 But this...this, my friends, is the ultimate dream. An Airstream. The Grand Daddy of them all. And maybe someday, she'll be ours.

 What a hoot this one is! So hideous, but can't you just imagine falling asleep in that bed watching the stars?

9.) This is an old favorite of mine and I have been drinking it non-stop lately. My perfect mix is with one splenda and just enough french vanilla creamer to change the color to caramel (about a teaspoon)...let it steep for a couple of minutes and you've got yourself one yummy cup of tea. I actually drink the decaf most often and it tastes just as great.

10.) A coworker of mine was telling me about the most wonderful party idea ever recently and I thought I'd pass it on. It was a "Random Acts of Kindness Party" where each guest contributed $25 and then the money was distributed randomly to those in need by the hosts of the party. What a perfect idea for this time of year in particular and as a guest of that party imagine getting the updates about how that money was spent and how great it would feel. This is a must do in my book. Expect your invites!

Have a great weekend!


Sandra Morton said...

I love your favorites lists! You know what I love most about them? I can afford most of things you put on them and they're things I haven't seen before. Thanks for another great one. I love that nail polish and those book sets are really beautiful!

Leslie Green said...

Woo Hoo! I got honorable mention! Thanks, Jen! :D

Jen of All Trades said...

Well, Sandra...that just made my very long day! Thanks so much! Glad to have you here. And Leslie, yes you did, my friend! Without you, I might never have been reminded of them! :)

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