I know, I know. We’re more than halfway through November so this is a more than a little late. I had a hard time narrowing down the things I love this month but I’ve finally done it! I’m seriously obsessing over every item on this list. I hope you like them as well!
1. Elements of Style: I don’t know a single person in college who did not own at least one tattered copy of The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White (I clearly hung with the Humanities/Arts crowd – I’m not sure this was a huge hit in the science and math departments). If you were going to take any sort of writing class you needed three things: a dictionary, a thesaurus and The Elements of Style. So, when a friend told me that her favorite new read was Elements of Style, I thought she had gone off her rocker. I mean, sure the book was a great reference and all but I couldn’t quite see it being anyone’s favorite thing to read. She laughed, explaining that Elements of Style is a lifestyle blog written by Interior Designer Erin Gates. I checked out the blog and was hooked instantly. That was a few years ago. This year Erin came out with her first book, Elements of Style: Designing a Home and a Life. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first – There have already been a lot of great bloggers that have attempted to put out a book and most of them have fallen flat. Honestly, no one wants a hard copy regurgitation of what has already been published on a blog. I was skeptical, but hopeful that maybe this one might be different. It is. The book is full of beautiful images (that haven’t already been plastered all over her blog), sound design advice (like seriously useful information, not just “advice” meant to build herself up and show how she knows so much more about design than you do – there are a lot of those design books out there, thankfully this isn’t one of them), personal essays on life’s struggles and a voice that is so relatable you feel like you’re sitting down for a chat with a close friend. It is written in a way that even someone with absolutely no design experience can understand what she is talking about yet fascinating enough that seasoned designers will appreciate what she has to say. I cannot tell you how rare that is. Ms. Gates clearly put in a lot of hard work and effort into the book and it has paid off. Elements of Style is beyond perfect for anyone that has an interest in interior design – professional or not.
2. The Nudes by Maybelline: I am always on the lookout for a great eye shadow palette that looks natural and blends well. Usually a palette will have one or two good shadows, but the rest never get used. Not so with this one. The Nudes by Maybelline has great options for everyday makeup and others that are perfect for nighttime looks and every single color is useable.
3. Maleficent: This film tells the story of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty from the iconic villain’s point of view. I didn’t get around to seeing it in the theater and I wasn’t planning on buying it on DVD until my kids watched it ON Demand with my parents last week and have not stopped talking about it since. I seriously haven’t seen them excited about a movie in a very long time and for two little boys that are constantly refusing to watch what they have deemed “girl movies” I was surprised that something so female-centric has made them this excited. Big Guy seriously deemed it one of the best movies he has ever seen and both boys put it on their Christmas wish lists. Maleficent comes up in conversation at least once a day and usually a lot more. And when they watch it, they really watch it. They don’t just half-watch while fighting with each other or playing on their iPads. I judge movies based on how well they hold my kid’s attention and this passes that test with flying colors.
4. Starbucks Chestnut Praline Latte: Pumpkin spiced latte who? This drink takes the cake. I’m not generally one for coffee drinks with syrup or sugar (give me a café latte or iced latte any day of the week – nonfat and unsweetened of course), but this is a rare treat. You might not catch me drinking it every day but it is great for those nights when you’re decorating the Christmas tree or going out to see Christmas lights. According to the Starbucks website the Chestnut Praline Latte is: “Espresso, steamed milk, and flavors of caramelized chestnuts and spices. Topped with whipped cream and spiced praline crumbs.” I leave off the whipped cream and praline crumbs but the effect is still delicious. This drink has a great Christmas-y feel (like chestnuts roasting on an open fire) and it has a certain European flair that is reminiscent of the dessert coffees I’ve had in Hungary. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up (I just have to be sure to hide it from Big Guy or he will chug the whole thing).
5. Snack Factory White Chocolate and Peppermint Pretzel Chips: These are like crack. I cannot open a bag when I’m alone or I will eat the whole thing. THE WHOLE THING! Not kidding. It is probably a good thing for my waist line that they are limited edition. They make me giddy like Will Ferrell in Elfwhen he’s talking about the North Pole. They are salty, sweet and covered in crushed candy canes. Need I say more?
6. Supergoop! CC Cream: This was one of my fantastic Birchbox finds. It is the best! CC stands for Color Correct and It is a bit heavier than a BB Cream (BB = Beauty Balm) but it isn’t as nearly as heavy as a foundation. It is perfect for everyday wear and it actually lasts all day, which I love. Supergoop! CC Cream comes in three different colors (I get the light-medium) and the color is self-adjusting so just minutes after putting it on it seamlessly blends into your face. And did I mention it has SPF 35? You will look like yourself but better.