Miscellaneous Monthlies: September 2014

I realize I’m a bit late for my monthly favorites on TBBB, but I figured it’s better late than never!  I actually filmed my accompanying video (see below) when we were still in Italy on the very last day of September, so it’s a true September favorites.  You’ll see that most of my picks I thoroughly enjoyed throughout our Italian adventure (trip recap posts coming up next week!).

Clothes & Accessories

✻ Prana Halle Pants – I purchased these pants specifically with this trip in mind and am so glad that I did.  They were the perfect travel pants for trekking around Venice all day.  I love the lightweight material that resisted wrinkles, stains, and even water for the duration of our trip.

✻ Splendid Very Light Jersey Drape Cardigan – I hauled this sweater from Zappos a few months ago thinking it’d make the perfect neutral three-season lightweight layer.  I used it practically every day we were in Italy!  It was small and light enough to pack in my day bag and perfect for cooler mornings or for popping into churches to cover my bare shoulders.  The fabric doesn’t really hold onto wrinkles either, which is always a bonus when traveling.

✻ Weston Wear Olvera Tank – One of my absolute favorites to wear on our trip, this easy breezy tank is comfortable and cute.  What more could a girl ask for, especially for long days out and about catching the sights.

✻ Keen Presidio Shoes – I waxed poetic about these shoes in my Pre-Travel / Fall Haul and for good reason.  They are. That. Good.  I have very picky, troublesome feet (we’re talking bunions, arch cramping, etc), and have to be extremely selective about my footwear, especially anything I know I need to wear for more than an hour or so.  I am so thankful I found these shoes in time for our trip as they really made all the difference in how my feet fared.  The roomy toe box, great arch and heel support, and removable footbed (so I could put my own orthotics in) all contribute to one heck of a great walking shoe.  A+!

✻ Born Belinda Sandals – While having supportive day shoes was certainly my priority, these sandals which I paired with all of my evening outfits were wonderful as well.  I have never owned such comfortable sandals with a heel before!  Comfy and cute?  Winner!


✻ Pacsafe CitySafe™ 350 GII Anti-Theft Backpack – I was hesitant to bring a backpack as my day bag to Italy, especially since I know pickpocketing can be a problem, but I really wanted the style for comfort and was excited when I stumbled across this anti-theft one.  The bag is designed with thieves in mind, from it’s slash-proof fabric and straps, to the locking zipper and strap option and RFID secure pocket.  I wore this with complete peace of mind throughout the entirety of our trip.  I will most likely dedicate a whole post to this bag, because it is so awesome!

✻ Marchesa Voyage for Shopstyle Printed Scarf – Scarves are such a useful accessory, especially when traveling.  I brought two lightweight options with me that I could pair with all of my outfits (the bright one from BCBG is no longer available sadly).  They’re small enough to easily carry around, but can add extra warmth or coverage when needed.

✻ Elsa Peretti Diamonds by the Yard Necklace – I didn’t want to fuss with a lot of jewelry while we were away so I brought a few staple pieces.  My husband, Don, gave me this beautiful necklace as an anniversary gift earlier this month.  It is dainty and versatile, but a beautiful statement.  I’ve been wearing it constantly ever since!

✻ Elsa Peretti Open Heart Earrings – These gold studs are the perfect compliment to my necklace and also easy to wear and go with everything.  I like the Tiffany studs because the backs click securely into place, so I never worry about losing them.



✻ Fodor’s Venice – What is a trip to Europe without a trusty travel guide?  Out of the few we bought, this one was our favorite.  Although by no means all-encompassing or perfect, it provides great information in a reasonably well organized fashion that is easy to follow.  The reinforced foldout map that is included is a nice bonus.

✻ Streetwise Venice MapStreetwise Italian Lake District Map – If a guidebook is important when traveling to an unfamiliar place, a map is essential.  I love these maps by Streetwise because they are clear and easy to follow thanks to the handy index.  They’re also sturdy due to laminating, but compact enough to easily tuck into a back pocket or a small bag.  The Venice one was super helpful during our trip since the city is quite easy to get lost in!

✻ Kindle – I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a book snob in that I prefer reading from actual books, and even then the hardback editions, as opposed to digital readers.  That is, of course, with the exception of travel.  It is much easier to travel with an e-reader than a stack of heavy books and I do love my Kindle for this very reason.  I have the basic one with no bells and whistles and it suits me just fine.  I keep a Belkin Verve Tab Folio Kindle Cover on it for protection (and also I find it makes the Kindle easier to hold).  The battery lasts for quite some time and the screen doesn’t hurt my eyes like reading off of a backlit device will do after some time.

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness – I was so excited when the third and final installment of the All Souls Trilogy came out and downloaded it onto my Kindle with my trip in mind.  What a great read!  I found all three books to flow nicely from one to the other without losing any of the intrigue or integrity of the storyline.  It is a fantastical story revolving around witches and vampires, but one certainly geared towards adults with a very sophisticated writing style and intricate plotline.  I highly recommend the series!


✻ Sex and the City Season 1 & Season 2 – I’m the kind of person who can re-watch a favorite television series over and over again.  I downloaded the first two seasons of Sex and the City, one of my all time favorite shows, onto my iPad for the trip.  It was nice to relax in the tub after a whirlwind day of sightseeing with an old favorite.

Game of Thrones Season 3 – Earlier in the month before we left, Don & I whizzed through the latest season of GOT to come out on DVD.  This show is so amazing!  The production quality alone is worth a watch.  I do find it easier to follow having read the books (and am currently halfway through the third in the series, A Storm of Swords).  Don started reading the series on his Kindle during our trip, as well.

Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour – How did I not know this wonderful artist existed until now?  I have become obsessed with this album, which is hauntingly beautiful at times.  Consider me a Sam Smith fan!

Counting Crows – Somewhere Under Wonderland – I’ve been a Counting Crows fan since college when I saw them in concert (my first ever!).  They’ve definitely been around awhile but their new album fits right in with their old sound.  I always think of Counting Crows as more moody music, but this album has a few more upbeat melodies and tempos for a well-rounded sound.

Sonia’s Travels – I stumbled across this awesome channel when searching for videos about Venice.  Sonia makes amazing travel-related videos, including actual destination vlogs as well as travel and packing advice.  Her videos are short but sweet and well edited to pack a lot of punch into just a few minutes.

Tasty Treats

OJ_TBBB_10-09-2014_07Yes, Italy is a great place to visit if you’re a foodie, and while I did partake in and thoroughly enjoy all of the amazing pastas, local fish specialties, and scrumptious gelato we encountered, my absolute favorite treat from the trip was the hot chocolate.  I had at least one cup of this delightfully rich and creamy chocolatey goodness every single day.  You could say I’m a bit of a hot chocolate fiend and thought I’d experience the crème de la crème before, but I was wrong.  I don’t know quite how the Italians make it, but it’s basically molten chocolate whipped into a frenzy with creamy milk.  I’ve got one word for you: YUM.

If you’d like to hear more about my thoughts about my September favorites, check out this video:

I would love to know what some of your September favorites were so if you care to share, please do! I hope you’re having a wonderful day, wherever you are! :o)

* Post contains affiliate and referral links. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *


13 thoughts on “Miscellaneous Monthlies: September 2014”

  1. I agree Jen – I love Born sandals. Every pair of shoes I own are Born – I’m obsessed! I can’t handle hurting feet!

  2. I LOVE your misc monthlies! I don’t know where I would find out about new music and good books to read if you ever stopped sharing, thanks so much for posting! You are a bright spot in my day/week/month. Oh, and I think the shoes are great!

  3. I totally look forward to your reviews! I can’t wait to try out these shoes since I have very sensitive feet also.
    Your haul is to die for! Love the tank you wear in the video, it looks adorable on you!

  4. Love the video. It is very informative. Did you wear the Keen Presidio shoes on the plane or the Born?…..ditto to CaroleD about Born. I just love these shoes and have several pairs.

    1. I wore my Keen’s…my Mom trained me at a young age never to wear sandals or open shoes on a plane just in case of emergency.

  5. I bought my Crocs wedges for my trip to Chicago. It served me well, really cute, comfy and lightweight!!! I know, Crocs and cute shouldn’t be in the same sentence, but really, they are not bad! I loved the fact that I could wear heels during my trip, it made me me feel very stylish! These are my favorite shoes at the moment because these wedges can be worn with casual or semi casual clothing! 🙂

    I got the black one: http://www.crocs.com/crocs-womens-leigh-wedge/11382,default,pd.html?cid=060&cgid=women-footwear-heelsWedges

    And this in Cocoa: http://www.crocs.com/crocs-womens-a-leigh-wedge-leather/11848,default,pd.html?cid=204&cgid=women-footwear-heelsWedges

    I love to travel as well so I picked up a couple of things for travel:
    1) Vera Bradley’s Blush and Brush Make Up Case – I like that the case holds my make up and brushes together, it is so compact! I was able to pack 5 brushes (3 face and 2 for the eyes–> more on that below!), q-tips, travel size BB cream, a mineral foundation, 3 lipsticks, 2 travel size blushes, a bronzer, a hilighter, 2 small eye palettes, 4-5 eyeliner pencils/liquid liner, mascara, and an eyelash curler!

    2) Boscia’s Super-Cool De-Puffing Eye Balm – I love the feeling whenever I apply this product!!! It has a cooling effect and it magically energizes me! I think it is very helpful and important after a long flight or to combat jet lag! 🙂

    3) Eco Tools Eye Enhancing Duo Set http://www.eco-tools.com/brushes/brush-sets/eye-enhancing-duo-set Each end has a different brush head!!! SO convenient!!! I’m an over packer and I try to be bring less things when I travel!

    Hope you found my list interesting!!! I’m thinking of buying Tieks as well, but the price is too much for me at the moment! Maybe in the future! Thanks for the review! 🙂

  6. Hi Jen!
    My miscellaneous monthlies for the month of August/September were: my new label maker, my new EC packing cubes, Jillian Michaels DVDs, my new Yoga mat from Lululemon, The Fault In Our Stars (I bought the book for free using your link from your website on Audible, and I saw the movie over summer break and I bought the DVD when I went shopping in Buffalo.), and About Time DVDs, my new Starbucks tumbler (a goodbye gift from one of my best friends from high school), my multicoloured floral-print scarf from H&M (another goodbye gift from another best friend from high school), “The Lord of the Rings: The Complete Recordings” CDs (I have a playlist of it on both my iPod classic and my iPhone, Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 on my Nintendo DS, this Zumba game for the Wii that I discovered over the Christmas holidays in 2011, when my cousin Geneviève got it as a gift. I “rediscovered” it when I was with my aunt at a library one day over this summer, as well as a recipe book made for a slow-cooker. This weekend, I celebrated my second Thanksgiving celebration with my entire family, and we watched a lot of football and hockey, and on Saturday morning, I got up early and made both my pulled pork dinner; and a special dip that we used with veggies and chicken wings throughout the weekend. My others miscellaneous monthlies were Casino Royale and Tomorrow Never Dies, 2 nail polishes from the James Bond 007 OPI, a stuffed boxer plushie from my boyfriend (a college/moving/anniversary gift from a month ago, and finally, my last ones are my new laptop: an 13″ MacBook Air and a travelling case to put in my backpack to take everywhere (even around the house!)
    I’m celebrating my English-version of Thanksgiving on November 7th, 8th and 9th, and I can’t seem to find your Thanksgiving videos from 2012, or 2013. Is it possible for you to link them for me, thanks!
    My mum’s dad and my uncle-in-law both gave me the Game of Thrones books and TV series and the Nefret’s Curse book series and I’m absolutely hooked!

    1. That’s quite a list! TFS 🙂

      Here are my Thanksgiving Prep videos from years’ past:
      2013 – httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVZuUcHLxrY
      2012 – httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76XyDdcsrzI & httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC7Qkqdvt0E
      2011 – httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFOmLGhoITU
      2010 – httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-XtorZgU6A

      1. Hi Jen!
        THANK YOU SO MUCH! I can now email these video links to my aunts, uncles and godparents who are hosting the celebration! Thank you, merci, gracías, grazie a million times over!
        Will you be doing more Q&A-type videos on OLJ&MHWL soon? The last video that I remember watching of that was when you and Don did the couples’ version which I thought was totally different and unique. It was nice for you to let us ask Don some questions! Will he ever be making more videos on YouTube? P.S.: Please tell Don that I showed my dad both the Chicken Burger and the Salmon and Dill Sauce recipes and they were very delicious so please tell him thank you! Also, tell him that if he adds a small tablespoon of coriander and steak spice, it adds a little bit of flavour….
        P.S.: My aunt purchased a package from KnitCrate this past weekend using the link that I gave her from your KnitCrate videos and blog posts for TBBB. I also received a sweet note from Erin Condren on my Twitter account!
        Take care
        Katherine M.

  7. Great Miscellaneous Monthlies! And what a treat to have had you film it while you were still in Italy! So jealous of those wonderful hot chocolates you got to enjoy while in Italy 🙂

    I LOVE that PackSafe anti theft backpack! I hope you will do a in depth review/look at it as I would be very interested as I think it would be perfect for my next trip!

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