Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread: Our Favorite Things (Fall Edition)

This week in my newsletter, which I send out every Tuesday, I shared some of my favorite things (fall edition). For those of you who didn’t see the message, I’m going to copy and paste it below. For everyone: I’d love for you to share some of your favorites (seasonal or not) in the comments. Thanks!

We are in the sweetest of the sweet spots here in New York, as far as seasons go. It’s cool and crisp enough to wear scarves and cozy sweaters, but it’s not yet so cold that we have to cover up our fashion with big, bulky coats. Gone is the humidity that assaulted our — at least, my — hair in the summer months, and yet some of us may be lucky enough to still hang on to a hint of color on our cheeks. The leaves are changing, but haven’t completely fallen from the trees yet, and our neighborhood ice cream shop that makes its own ice cream just introduced a new flavor called “Gather ‘Round the Campfire,” which basically tastes like childhood in a cone (or bowl if you prefer … or, headfirst into the pint, if you’re like me).

Anyhow, since there are so many things making me happy right now and I just can’t keep it to myself, I’m going to get all Oprah-y on you and share some of my favorite things, Fall Edition. These are either things I discovered (or re-discovered) recently, or stuff that is simply making the season even sweeter. I want to find more cool stuff and love hearing what other people’s favorite things are, so in this coming weekend’s open thread I’ll invite you to share your own. In the mean time, here are a few things currently making me happy:

DV by Dolce Vita Women’s Rodge Ankle Boot: I’d been wearing the same pair of black ankle boots the last two or three years and finally had to ditch them this year and find a replacement pair. I looked high and low, buying and returning several other pairs (aw, the joy of online shopping), before I finally settled on these Dolce Vita ankle boots (in black). These are a departure from the heeled boots I’ve worn in seasons past, but I love, love, love the style, comfort and quality of these. They look especially great with skinny jeans, but also work well with bootcut jeans, skirts, and a baby on your hip.

“Homeland”: I just got into this show last month, watching the whole first season right before the second season began a couple weeks ago. I wasn’t sure what to think and it took me a few episodes to really get into it but, holy shit, this show is awesome. If you haven’t watched it yet, you’re in for a treat. I’d wait until the second season winds down, and then gorge on all the episodes over the course of one or two weekends, which is my favorite way to watch an TV show.

Pumpkin latte recipe: I love me a pumpkin latte, but the best one I’ve found is at Starbucks, which is a mile from my apartment, costs something like six bucks with a tip, and packs about 350 calories. But I found this recipe for a DIY pumpkin latte that’s practically as good — and much cheaper and less fattening — than the real thing. Oh, and you can enjoy your pumpkin latte in a lovely DW mug (tastes even better that way).

Elysian Great Pumpkin Ale: Speaking of pumpkin-flavored beverages, Elysian’s Great Pumpkin Ale is hands-down my favorite pumpkin beer (and I’ve tried a lot of them). Cheers!

Fab.com: I love, love, LOVE Fab.com, a site that features cool and unique items from small, independent businesses and artists at a discounted price. I want to buy basically everything that is featured on the site, but seeing as I am not rich I have managed to limit myself to a pink super hero cape (with matching wrist bands and a mask) for our niece’s fifth birthday, three amazing city posters, some fancy hose that Drew already told me he wants me to wear to our friends’ Christmas party, and some socks (they are very cool socks). Things I really, really wanted to buy but didn’t include salted beer caramels, a jigsaw puzzle of a vintage New Yorker cover, and feather earrings.

Farm fresh scrambled eggs with almond milk: We’ve been giving Jackson almond milk since he seems to be allergic to cow’s milk, and a couple weeks back I made scrambled eggs with some eggs we got from the CSA which, by the way, are so much better than what you’d get at the grocery store it’s kind of unbelieavable, and the almond milk was all I had in the fridge so that’s what I used, and oh my God. Best scrambled eggs EVER. Ever.

Lip gloss: I feel naked when my lips have nothing on them, and always have at least two different lip glosses and one lipstick on me at all times. Jackson has started mimicking the way I rub my lips together after applying lip gloss, and loves that “blot!” sound that punctuates the ritual. All I have to do now is hold up a tube of lip gloss and he rubs his lips together and then cracks up.

Anyhoo, I digress. I have to tell you about my favorite lip stuff. The first is a must-have. It’s a little on the sticky side, so if that’s not your thing you may not appreciate it as much as I do. But the shine is the best I’ve found and I love to wear it alone or over my favorite lipstick. It’s the Elizabeth Arden Crystal Clear Lipgloss and it’s awesome. I also LOVE the Clinique lip glosses and find every single shade universally flattering on a variety of skin tones (My favorite is probably Fireberry, but I really love them all). Finally, my favorite lipstick and the only one I’ve worn in months is Laura Mercier “Truly Red.” It’s what Joan Holloway would be wearing if she were kicking it in 2012.

Commercial-free Pandora: Confession: I hate playing DJ when I have friends over. I always get anxiety that my play lists will suck or I’ll run out of tunes or some song from the Godspell soundtrack that I never got around to erasing from my library will start randomly playing when I least expect it. Enter Pandora. More specifically, the commercial-free Pandora. It costs like $36 for the year and ever since I got it last year, my life is so much easier. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true.

I like listening to good music; I just can’t be bothered to read music blogs and like keep up with what’s new. But with Pandora, I can stick with a couple of bands I know I like, create a station around them — which is literally as easy as typing in the band’s name — and Voila! I suddenly have a cool playlist to entertain me and guests for as long as I want and I never have to worry about random Godspell songs or loud commercials or anything else annoying. Plus, when good songs come on that I haven’t heard before, all I have to do is look at my iPhone and I can find out the name of the song, the band and the album.

Clarisonic: My parents got me a Clarisonic face cleanser for my birthday last month and I’ve been using it every day since and let’s just say it works so well I got carded when I bought pumpkin ale at the liquor store the other day. That’s not exactly true, but let’s just say it anyway. But seriously, this thing is the bomb and totally worth the hundred bucks.

[Disclaimer: I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a commission on any purchases made through my affiliate link. I’ve also used a referral link to Fab.com and will receive site credit for any new members or purchases made through that link. That said, I am a big fan of everything I’ve mentioned here and wouldn’t pass along a recommendation for anything I didn’t love.]

27 comments… add one
  • avatar

    jlyfsh October 26, 2012, 4:21 pm

    i am obsessed with scarves. i LOVE them. they are one of my favorite parts of fall. finally getting to be all cozy.

    pumpkin tea! i mix in soy milk and it’s like a soy latte.

    the fact that living in south carolina means i get to wear scarves and drink tea while wearing flip flops 🙂

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh October 26, 2012, 7:42 pm

      and if anyone has the time my mom could use some thoughts/prayers tonight. on top of recovering from her broken shoulder and surgery she got whatever upper respiratory infection was going around. she’s headed to the emergency room because her fever is almost 104. i hate being so far away when things go wrong 🙁

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      • JK

        JK October 27, 2012, 6:31 am

        🙁 I hope your mom gets better soon.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar October 27, 2012, 8:40 am

        I hope she feels better soon, jlyfsh.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh October 27, 2012, 8:48 am

        thank you both 🙂 she’s at home now with a machine for breathing treatments and some steroids. poor thing. she’s had a rough few weeks.

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    • Lyra

      L October 26, 2012, 7:57 pm

      I own about 10 scarves. I’m completely obsessed.

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  • LadyinPurpleNotRed

    LadyinPurpleNotRed October 26, 2012, 4:34 pm

    I love falling leaves, cool temperatures, boots, hot apple cider, hot chocolate, sweaters, snuggling, fires, THANKSGIVING!, scarves…fall is my favorite season. It finally hit here in Memphis today with the weather AND I’M SO EXCITED!

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed

      LadyinPurpleNotRed October 26, 2012, 4:47 pm

      And pretty much anything else relating to apples. I love apples.

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  • avatar

    canefan October 26, 2012, 4:42 pm

    Boots. Scarves. Anything involving pumpkins. Falling leaves. Baking… And most importantly: the ability to walk to work without sweating through my blouse!

    I also love the gloomy days of Fall, because it makes being indoors all the more fun! Til after New Years, then being stuck indoors starts to suck haha

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle October 26, 2012, 4:58 pm

    BOOTS. I love boots & get sad when it turns spring & I can’t wear them for another 5-ish more months.

    Also, caramel apples from Gertrude Hawk. I have yet to get one this season, but I will make it my mission this weekend to go! They are SO FUCKING GOOD, so if any of you have a Gertrude Hawk store by you, definitely go get one. It’s worth it.

    (Here is a link to the page of them, to tempt you all: http://www.gertrudehawkchocolates.com/products/categories/caramel-dipped-apples I purposely avoided clicking the “nutrition facts” Google suggestion, haha. There are some things you are better off not knowing.)

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  • the_optimist

    the_optimist October 26, 2012, 4:15 pm

    So one time I made scrambled eggs with rice milk because the bf has trouble with dairy…and I’ll never go back. And also I’m friggin’ obsessed with Fab. So good but so, so bad.

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  • SarahKat

    SarahKat October 26, 2012, 6:17 pm

    So, its about 85 right now in LA, so Fall is less of an actual thing as much as it is a state of mind. BUT my boyfriend and I are gonna have a cozy night in and watch old Halloween movies and Ichibod Crane tonight while drinking cocoa and cider while pretending that all the windows aren’t open and that it isn’t balls hot.

    Hmm, favorite things right now…

    1. I’m really loving Asos right now because of their bada$$ sales and their ethics in clothing manufacturing. Plus their clothes are so pretty!

    http://us.asos.com/?r=1&mk=VOID

    2. Tarte Cosmetics are also ethical and cruelty free and they make my FAVORITE blush of all time:

    http://tartecosmetics.com/tarte-item-cheek-stain

    I’m not even kidding, I bought that cheek stain ONE YEAR AGO, and it still has A TON of product left in it.

    3. I guess a technical “Fall” favorite thing is all the Dia De Las Muertos stuff that will show up next week. I absolutely LOVE the Day of The Dead and I wish I was a decent Catholic to justify taking the day off. There’s a Dia De Las Muertos festival down by San Pedro on the 1st and I think my bf and I are going to it that night though. One year for Halloween we’ll dress up as Manny Calavera and Meche from Grim Fandango (also known as THE BEST THING EVER. If I ever get a tattoo it will be a Grim Fandango one).

    4. Pumpkin. Spice. Ghirardelli. Squares. Honestly, everyone needs to go try these immediately. They will change your muthaf*@&in LIFE.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy October 26, 2012, 7:06 pm

      That is my absolutely favorite cheek blush/tint/rouge/whatever you want to call it. It’s awesome and it lasts FOREVER!

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      • SarahKat

        SarahKat October 26, 2012, 7:21 pm

        Right??? Its like the everlasting gobstopper.

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    • avatar

      Caris October 26, 2012, 11:58 pm

      OMG grim fandango is the best!

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  • avatar

    spark October 26, 2012, 7:04 pm

    Gotta say, it was such a pleasant surprise that I made the comment of the week! 🙂

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  • Lyra

    L October 26, 2012, 8:08 pm

    There are sooo many things I love about fall. Scarves. The beautiful colors. Sweatshirts. Sweatshirts and flip flops at the same time (I LOVE wearing sandals and sweatshirts together, not sure why). Cuddling under blankets. Candy corn mixed with salted peanuts. Fresh apples from my parents’ orchard. Apple pie and crisp. Anything with cinnamon.

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  • katie

    Katie October 26, 2012, 8:28 pm

    The thing about fall that is making me happy lately is that my cats want to cuddle again. When it was all hot out they wanted none of the cuddle business. Haha. So that’s good.

    Also, I like being able to enjoy my lattes at home again. I tried to make latte art in my dw mug but it didn’t work out…

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    • katie

      katie October 26, 2012, 10:40 pm

      you know what i think is weird about fall this year? everyone’s obsession with pumpkin EVERYTHING.

      dont get me wrong, i love pumpkin. i cant say i love it in lattes (sorry all you PSL lovers…) but i do love pumpkin. i just dont understand the freak out this year. i saw a show with a corporate chef of dunkin donuts, and he said that they introduced like 8 new pumpkin items this year, and sales of pumpkin things had gone up something like 100 and some percent! and then theres all the people freaking out because starbucks was running out of its pumpkin spice sauce.. its just odd. although i do love pumpkin.

      wanna know something else thats funny about pumpkin spice lattes? starbucks is only allowed to have their seasonal syrups and sauces for certain dates during the year… if they have extra syrup after the promotion ends, they literally have to throw it out. crazy, right? and wasteful! anyway, if you find an independant coffee shop that carries a pumpkin sauce you like, you might be able to get pumpkin spice lattes all year long! at the coffee shop i worked at we had it all year, and people loved that…

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      • avatar

        Megan_A_Mess October 28, 2012, 12:31 pm

        I feel the same way … I mean, admittedly, I am no big fan of pumpkin pie, but you better not leave me alone with a pumpkin roll because it’ll be gone! I also love carving pumpkins, but I don’t understand why everyone is obsessed with pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING this time of year.

        And just to add insult to injury, I only like bacon when I’m really in the mood for it. Which is about once a month. There. I said it.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed October 28, 2012, 12:37 pm

        I’m with you on bacon!! And once a month is more than when I’m in the mood for it so you’re ahead of me there. (I also don’t like pumpkin flavored things)

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  • SweetsAndBeats

    SweetsAndBeats October 26, 2012, 9:01 pm

    Well, I am in love with three things right now…

    1) Sonic toothbrush with ultraviolet light for disinfecting. Really soothes my inner Monk.

    2) Making pies. Especially pecan pies! Throw bacon in there, throw chocolate in there, it’s always a party!

    3) Doctor Krieger, the linguistics major. Addie Pray was right! His awesomeness really has started to blind me to his crumb-producing habits! And having a “beta” guy off-setting my “Type A” personality is really mellowing me out… I even left my couch pillows in disarray, one day this week. Living on the wild side!

    Yay Autumn! It gives me an excuse to buy a new winter jacket. And I concur on the love of lipgloss, Wendy. I currently have a two red glosses, a “nude” gloss, a clear gloss, a coral gloss, a peach gloss, and a pink gloss in my purse… Oh god, I have a problem.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar October 27, 2012, 12:49 pm

    I say this as someone who has to rake a half acre of leaves every year but I love the changing leaves. Driving to the magic farmer’s market an hour away was so pretty last week and it is beautiful walking our puppies along the creek with all the trees all brightly coloured and the leaves blanketing the trail.

    I love home made butternut squash ravioli and all kinds of soups – broccoli cheddar, sweet potato and butternut squash and pear…really anything I can curl up with inside while it is chilly outside. And I kind of love drinking coffee when I’m outside on my porch or in my yard. For some reason I enjoy the coffee more with the air crisp around me. And with my German chocolate cake and Kahlua k-cups – I REALLY enjoy my coffee now.

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  • avatar

    Megan_A_Mess October 28, 2012, 12:51 pm

    I love fall, it’s my favorite time of the year. From the beginning of October until New Years, I am in heaven. Just the changing seasons, the holidays and my birthday, all great reasons to celebrate and spend some time with family. I also feel, in a way, like fall is a re-birth. It’s like New Years, without all the hype. Also, I’m more excited to work out in the fall, than other time of the year. I don’t know why, but I’m not fighting it! Here are my top ten things.

    1.) Boots – Now that I’m actually becoming more of a “girlie girl” I’m starting to realize the importance of a good pair of boots, and how cute they look with everything.
    2.) Sweaters – V-necks, boat necks, cowl necks, cables, hoods … So comfy, so cozy, and probably my favorite thing to wear, ever.
    3.) Heat – I remember talking about this specifically last year. I love, love, love the smell of the heater, when it comes on for the first time in the fall both in the house, and in my car. Just something about it, brings me back to really happy times in my life.
    4.) Weather – I love the changing colors of the season, the smell in the air, the overcast sky, and the crunch of the fallen leaves beneath your boots.
    5.) Hot chocolate – I’m kind of “take it or leave it” with coffee, but Starbucks makes the best hazelnut hot chocolate that I’ve ever had. Seriously. Delicious, chocolaty and fall, all in one cup.
    6.) Apples – Nothing better than a fresh plain doughnut and some freshly made apple cider. It’s crazy expensive this year though, so we’ll probably skip that treat.
    7.) Halloween – My favorite holiday, and also, most of my favorite movies are Halloween ones/have Halloween type themes (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, Paranorman, Frankenweenie, Hocus Pocus.)
    8.) LUSH – My skin is this crazy weird combo of sensitive/oily/dry (all over, from my toes to my scalp) and if I don’t use just the right products, it freaks out. And while I haven’t had any luck with their shampoos, their body wash, lotion, face products and perfume are the bomb diggity. The best part? All are vegetarian, and most are vegan. (A little expensive, but worth it to keep my skin in line.)
    9.) Zombies – Obsessed with The Walking Dead! ‘Nuff said.
    10.) School – For the first time in three years, I am back at college and while I’m blatantly ignoring the amount of debt I’m going into, getting this education, I am so happy to be back at school. I love learning, and am finally so excited with the career choice that I’ve made for myself and my future.

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  • avatar

    quixoticbeatnik October 28, 2012, 11:46 pm

    My favorite thing about fall is the gorgeous weather that Houston gets. The sky is this beautiful blue color, the air is crisp but not too cold…..it’s perfect. It’s days like today that Houston is really is at its best.

    My new favorite fall/holiday thing? This amazing red wine I got this weekend from Perdernales Cellers winery in the Hill Country. It’s their holiday wine and it is TO DIE FOR. It’s delicious, and it smells delicious – like cinnamon – and completely unlike any wine I’ve ever tried before. Fabulous. Everybody that was with me tried it and immediately bought one or two bottles.

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  • avatar

    Mr. Cellophane October 29, 2012, 9:53 am

    Living in the “snow belt”, Fall doesn’t really exist. Well, it exists, we just don’t call it that. We call it “Getting ready for winter”.
    It is that wonderful, but very brief, time of the year when you put away the deck furniture, rake the leaves, drain the gas out of the mower, put gas in the snow blower and generator, rake the leaves, take out the screens, put in the storm windows, put the snow tires on the car, change to winter wiper blades, and rake the leaves. And then on Sunday afternoon……

    To quote George R R Martin, “WINTER IS COMING”

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