Trixie from Toronto is really onto something with this “favorite things” thing. I mean, not in the Oprah favorite things sense, because although I WISH I could give you guys all hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of swag, the best you’ll get out of me is some lint-smattered Orbit gum and an old Archie comic or something.

But seriously, I was in the grocery store the other day, and, next to the Ladies Home Journal of Lose 5lbs FAST With Nooooo Side-Effects and Put an End to Fad Dieting FOREVURR! I noticed a new- not reprinted- issue of Double Digest. It looked like they had updated the look of the characters for the current Gossip Girl generation or something. Who knew?

Look at that shit! Veronica appears to be wearing SWEATS. Um, WHAT? Anybody who knows anything about Veronica knows that homegirl would not have been caught dead in sweats. Yet, here she is wearing big, outdated earrings with some seriously high-rise loungepants. In public. Uh, and what is going on with Betty? It’s like the creators of this comic took their wardrobe cues from old Kathleen Turner movies. Like, “that’s what all the kids are into these days, the 80s are back, so that includes War of the Roses right?”

Anyway, on with the stuff I like!

Like most people, the products/music/food and drinks I’m into vary by the season. Summer is in full swing, so here are a few of the Earthly delights keeping me in a good mood right now:

1. Circle skirts from Uniqlo and Anthropologie: I just went to Anthro and bough 3 skirts (one ivory with grasses and wildflowers, a brown one with frothy tulle underlay and jewel-toned flowers, and a solid Kelly green trumpet skirt) to go with the 3 I already have from years previous (shiny, blue cascading raindrops on ivory, a lemon yellow with vintage flowers, and one with an all-over print of a line drawing of Venice). Add in the fun, shiny, pleated brown one I got at Uniqlo in Nagoya, and I’ve got a whole week of feminine looks!

These skirts are flattering on most figures and the cool linen lining hides all of your underthings while still letting copious amounts of air flow though to keep you cool. But, all practicality aside, they make me feel like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.

2. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer in Meduim: I don’t like to tan, but I’m loath to spend the whole summer all pasty, while my neighbors rock this straight-outta-St. Lucia look. I’m late to the party on this product, I just got some this weekend, but I’m already believing the hype. No streaks, no fakey orange color, no nasty self-tanner smell, it conditions the skin well, and i’ve not stained my clothes or sheets with it yet!

3. Two-way tie: Bentley’s Green Tea in Raspberry and The Perfect Summer Tea by way of Starbucks Hacking: The Bentley’s tea is good hot or iced, and the little tins are so cute and handy to re-use for storing jewelry or art supplies or something. Hell, I’d even throw some flowers in it, for a shabby-chic vase.

OK, Starbucks hacking. It’s risky, but you’ll just have to trust me. I’ve ordered this many times, and only once did the corporate coffee drones give me shit about it. Do this: Order a grande hot tea with room- lots of room. So much room that you end up with a tall tea in a grande cup. Request 1 bag of Tazo Refresh tea, and 1 bag of some kind of green tea- I like the Lotus b/c it’s mild and sweet tasting, anything will work except maybe green ginger- haven’t tried that one. Also request a venti cup full of ice. Offer to pay for it if they give you crap. Steep the tea for 5 minutes, maybe even a little longer- then pour over the ice. It’s LOVELY. If you’re a sugar/artificial sweetener kind of person, do me a favor and resist the urge to saccharine-ify this drink. It’s so lovely and refreshing on it’s own, I’d imagine sugar kills it.

4. MAC Tendertones lip balm: All the benefits of balm with the look of gloss- minus the stickyness, plus a strawberry-kiwi scent. This stuff is summer in a wee little pot.

5. Asobi Seksu’s album Citrus: you know how sometimes when you buy a record you listen to it and go “meh” and set it aside for so long you forget you even own it? Yeah. That’s what kind of happened with this album. Except I lost track of it b/c we moved into out little 700 square foot shoebox and Mr. Panda had to consolidate his record collection, so he filed this away with his stuff by mistake. Anyway, I found this album again and it feels like fate, because it happens to be exactly what I want to listen to right now.

It’s still as fuzzy-guitar-laden and spacey as the first album, but with a poppier, more effervescent feel. Less My Bloody Valentine-ish, more… cute.

Also I’m all about Midlake’s Trials of Van Occupanther. Don’t think. Don’t wait for an explanation. Just go get this album.

6. My iPod: The best present I’ve ever gotten in my life. Where else can I hear Them, The Troggs, Rihanna, Elvis, and the collected workd of Marvin Gaye all in one place? Bless you, iPod. That’s not music, what’s flowing from those ubiquitous little white ear buds, it’s magic.

7. Revlon A Floral Affair sheer blush in Pinking of You: It’s cheap. It’s light. It’s a blushing, youthful, virginal pink blush with possibly the gayest name for a makeup ever.

8. N.V. Perricone Active Tinted Moisturizer: The thought of wearing foundation in the summer makes me want to cry. It’s like I can feel me skin whining, “But I don’t waaaannaaaa! Don’t make meeee!” So instead, I use this stuff. Light coverage, SPF, vitamins that are good for the skin, AND I’ve come to find out, it doesn’t come off in the pool!

9. Cold Noodles: Yummy. Cold. Refreshing. Spicy. Salty. Filling. Cheap. Low-calorie. You can eat them from a pouch, you can eat them on the couch, you can eat them on a veranda, you can eat them with Amanda. What I mean to say is, this is a versatile meal. Search for recipes online, or buy instant mixes from Asian grocers.

10. The pool at my apartment complex: (My pool is actually really nice. I just thought this inflate-o-pool was funny) Let’s see: there are the tanorexic sorority girls, the chest-puffing body builder types, the 30-something divorcees using their young children to pick up chicks, and the Cuban party boys- all my douchey neighbors are there on the weekends. But whatever, despite the overabundance of cheap beer, bad music blaring, and juice boxes aplenty- I still manage to find my n’hood pool to be a bit of an oasis. I just turn the iPod up loud, keep my hat pulled down low, and stick my nose in a book- VOILA!- Instant Antisocial Paradise! If only Kadinsky would show up with those pool noodles, then it’ll really be something.

How are you enjoying your summer?