I can’t believe I am writing another “Favorite Things” post already. It feels like I just shared my favorite things of September and now it’s time for October. It’s amazing how fast the months are just flying by!
Luckily these are one of my favorite posts to write. For one thing, knowing that I am going to share a few of my favorite things each month helps me be more mindful on a daily basis. Life is busy and it’s so easy to get swept up in the daily grind and not even notice the things we are doing, reading, using, wearing, eating, etc… everyday. This is unfortunate though, because there are so many small moments each day which have the potential to brings us joy if we just stop and notice them. Since I have started writing these posts I find myself paying more attention to my everyday behaviors. Not changing those behaviors, necessarily, but just noticing them. And I feel like I have been more present in my own life since I’ve made it a point to think about those things that really matter to me.
I don’t mean matter in a big sense. Let’s face it, these lists are largely material-type goods or leisure activities – they aren’t going to change the world. But knowing what I am enjoying presently does have a positive impact on my life. First, when I know what I like I can set aside time to participate in those activities, which makes my daily existence more pleasant. For instance, during October we intentionally schedule family time to watch certain programs and scary movies together. If we didn’t acknowledge that we enjoy these activities and make time for them, we would likely sit in separate rooms mindlessly scrolling on our phones instead of making family connections.
Paying attention to the things I like best also saves me money. For instance, my favorite kind of jeans made the list this month. Now that I know what jeans I like best I can stop buying less-than-perfect pairs in my search to find the ones that work for me. This practice of having a “go-to” product works not just for jeans, but for everything and can save a lot of money in the long run. Sometimes I shiver when I think about how many not-quite-right shampoos or eye shadows or nail polishes I’ve tossed out without using. It definitely pays to know what you like.
We definitely don’t suffer from a lack of information these days. Or options. There are so many ways we can choose to spend our time and money – millions of books available at our fingertips, countless movies ready to download, thousands of retailers just a click away. It can be overwhelming to choose from so many options all day long. Knowing my favorites helps me to be decisive and cuts down on decision fatigue. It also saves lots of time and allows me to spend my time actually engaging in the things I love to do.
Finally, I really like reading these types of posts by my favorite bloggers. Often I pick up a few tips along the way. I might find some books to add to my “Want To Read” list or a new Netflix show to binge watch or a new recipe to try. With so many options available at all times, it’s nice to get recommendations from people I trust (even if I’ve never met them IRL). I thought it would be nice to “pay it forward” and share a few of my favorite things as well.
So without further ado, here is the October Edition of a A Few of My favorite Things:
The New York Yankees (and their Wildcard Win)
It’s no secret that I am a die-hard New York Yankees fan and I have been for as long as I can remember. I mean I own two different Yankees ball caps (and for a girl who only wears ball caps when I run in crazy summer heat or I am physically on the beach that’s a lot of ball caps). In fact, my love of the Yankees resulted in a black eye from an unimpressed Indians fan way back when I was in law school in Cleveland.
Yup – I was punched by a guy for wearing a Yankees hat.
In the law school.
It wasn’t pretty. They had just won a World Series that year, the first in the Core Four dynasty, and he thought I was a “bandwagon fan”. But I had been rotting for the Bronx Bombers for over 20 years by that point and wasn’t about to let him rain on my parade.
Anyway, after a few uninspiring seasons recently I have really enjoyed watching this new young team play together and was so happy to see them bring their A-game to the wildcard match-up against the Oakland A’s. Tonight they square off against their arch rivals, the Boston Red Sox, for the Division Series and regardless of whether they win or lose I’m happy for the extended opportunity to keep cheering on my team. And I’ll be a Yankees fan until I die.
My quest for the perfect jeans is over. At least for now. I have discovered that I simply adore Madewell’s high-waisted skinny jeans and high-waisted boyfriend jeans. The 9-inch rise is perfect to hold everything in and allows me to move around without fear of exposing my underwear – which is truly a quality I need in jeans at my age. The Madewell jeans I love have just enough stretch to move with you, without getting baggy and saggy. The loosen just a bit as they day goes on, but are soft and comfortable and somehow, not constricting even though they come up to my bellybutton. Since discovering Madewell early this year I have been slowly replacing my jean wardrobe. I’ve now got a pair of distressed skinnies, a pair of slim boyfriends and a pair of basic dark blue skinnies, so I am set for every situation.
Siggi’s Pumpkin & Spice Yogurt
I’ve written about my love of Siggi’s yogurt before. I am a fan of the short list of ingredients, natural flavors, high protein/low sugar combination and delicious taste. And now Siggi’s has brought back one of my favorite seasonal flavors – Pumpkin & Spice. If you love all things pumpkin you’ve got to give this flavor a try. Special tip: sprinkle a few graham cracker crumbs on top for a decadent treat.
How I Built This
I love to listen to podcasts. As a self-proclaimed nerd who loves to learn new things, I like to multitask while I am doing mindless activities, like running, cleaning, or doing laundry. I’ve even gotten my kids into listening to podcasts, especially when we are in the car together. And one of our favorites is How I Built This, with Guy Raz. How I Built This looks at some of the world’s most famous companies, including Sam Adams, Clif Bars, 5-Hour Energy, Edible Arrangements, and Panera, and gets the story behind the success. Guy Raz expertly interviews the inventors, entrepreneurs and innovators from a myriad of industries and weaves their stories into captivating narratives of what it takes to achieve success. The stories are interesting and inspirational and entertaining.
Sally’s Baking Addiction Butter Cookies with Orange & Chocolate Ganache
Yesterday I posted a Cooking with Kids Recipe for Kyle’s Famous Cookie Bars, along with a confession that despite all my focus on healthy eating I have a weakness for treats. It should come as no surprise, then, that one of my favorite blogs to follow is Sally’s Baking Addiction. I love all things Sally – her recipes, her writing, her photography. Someday I want to be Sally. But in the meantime I am content to experiment with her recipes from time to time. And this recent Butter Cookies with Orange & Chocolate Ganache recipe became an instant favorite.
Blondo Wateproof Booties
These Blondo Villa Waterproof Boots were a last minute purchase before I headed to Ireland. I was a little bit skeptical about the waterproof claim since the pair I ordered are made of suede, but I liked that they had rubber soles, would go with lots of different outfits and were fashionable. When I tried them on I was beyond delighted to find that they were also some of the most comfortable booties I had ever put on. I decided to keep them and crossed my fingers that they would keep my feet dry. I did give them a quick spray with some sudden protector before we left and even though we didn’t really have any bad weather in Ireland, I have had occasion to wear them in the rain a couple of times since we returned – if there’s one thing we have in western Pennsylvania it is rain (and snow and sleet and slush) – and so far so good. I like them so much that I am actually considering buying a second pair in brown leather. While these boots aren’t cheap, the $150.00 price tag is definitely worth it when you consider cost per wear. If you are looking for something to keep your feet dry without scream “rainboot”, I highly recommend you give these boots a try.
Every year my family looks forward to Food Network’s Halloween Wars. Teams of cake artists, sugar sculptors and pumpkin carvers compete against one another to create the ultimate Halloween themed display out of food. Each week, one team is eliminated and at the end of the series the team left standing wins $50,000. I am always amazed by the incredible pumpkin sculpting and sculptures created out of cake and spun sugar and this show is a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit.
The Hate U Give & One of Us is Lying
I have really been into YA fiction lately. I like that the books are typically a little bit shorter and don’t require too much brain power at the end of a hard day. I also really appreciate that they tackles important, current topics in a no-nonsense, down-to-earth manner. Two of my current faves are The Hate U Give, a gut-wrenching topical book that is as riveting as it is necessary about racial relations in America today that you need to read now – quickly before the movie comes out next month, and One of Us is Lying, a murder mystery with excellent character development and a plot that will keep you guessing until the end.
And now I’m off to do laundry. Definitely not one of my favorite things.
Have a great weekend!