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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > Jen Recommends

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Jen Recommends
(My Favorite Finds of 2009)

Okay, so everybody knows that an endorsement by Oprah is like the “midas touch,” be it books, products, or services.

But, let's face it, sometimes her selections are not savvy for today's singles, nor particularly budget savvy for the masses.

Don't despair.  

If you have champagne taste on a beer budget, here's what Jen recommends to make you look good, feel better, please your palate, and increase your joy potential!

Move over Oprah...

Favorite magazines
Shop Smart (It's like a consumer Bible)
Being Single (In existence for over 20 years, excellent read for singles everywhere)
The Writer
Mahogany Magazine

Favorite cheap dates

A home cooked meal with a movie (not to be confused with a cheap delivery pizza)
karaoke night at a local hot spot (let your hair down amongst friends)
A picnic in the park (it never gets old)

Sweet indulgences

Pepperidge Farms Chessmen Butter Cookies (to die for!, careful this has addictive potential )
Toblerone Candy Bars
Oreo Cookies
Comfort Cake
Jewel's Strawberry Cheesecake yogurt (good to the taste and good for your health too)
Sara Lee Strawberry Cheesecake

Favorite frangrances for women

Jovan Musk for Women (inexpensive and not overpowering)
Flowers by Kenyo (aromatic and soft, classy scent)
Alfred Sung
Body Works floral sprays

Book stores

Barnes AND Nobles (so many selections, you'll think you've died and gone to heaven!)
Borders(great atmosphere and helpful staff)

Favorite simple pleasures
(mine and hopefully soon to be yours)
Thrift store shopping trips
Herbal tea enjoyed with classical music
Cooking shows
Back yard barbecues with friends (don't forget the bubbly and delectable desserts)

Favorite TV shows

Jeopardy (brain food)
The Game (gorgeous guys and high entertainment value)
Friday Night Lights
Southland (the best in cop shows)
The Office
American Idol (humor, drama, and entertainment all wrapped up into one)
Dancing with the Stars (glitter and great fun)
The Apprentice(who says competition can't be fun?)
Katie Brown's Workshop (from cooking to crafts, something for everyone)
Joel Osteen (spiritual food and hope for troubled times)
Cheaters ( dating and deception clues for the clueless)
The Bachelor

Favorite restaurants

Red Lobster (cheddar biscuits that will have you begging for more)
B.J.'s Market (the next best thing to home cooked meals)
Country Buffet (more bang for your buck)

Favorite financial institutions
First Bank (excellent customer service and diverse banking products)
Bank of America (conveniently located)

Books I could be buried with
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ( reprogram for less stress)          
The Purpose Driven Life (life impacting)
When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Satan, I'm Taking Back My Health ( a must read for better health)
All poetry books by Peter McWilliams (romance on paper)
The Bible (guidance on life, love, and spirituality)
Simple Abundance (common sense and common appeal)

Favorite feel good music

Anything by Norah Jones (easy on the ears, soothing to the soul)
Voyage to India—By India Arie (a great selection of romantic tunes as well as songs to dance to)
The Best of Chicago (a classic)
The Best of Beethoven
Thriller—By Michael Jackson
The Best of Shania Twain
The Best of John Denver
The Best of Kenny G (suitable for all occasions)

Favorite quotes to live and love by

“It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
“Be still and know that I am God.”
“Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.”

There you have it!

And I'm happy to have yours!

Email me at


> - The best approach to find the one. <

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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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