Finally, for most of us in the northern hemisphere the weather is warming up, the trees have finally popped and allergy season is just about behind us, and that glorious two-week period — three weeks, if you’re lucky — known to us as “spring” is upon us. It’s a season of light jackets and shoes without socks, planting herb gardens, and getting the bikes tuned up for the warm weather riding months ahead. I love it, and I love these things that are currently making the brief transition into summer so enjoyable.
1. Bernardo Thong Sandal
This will be the third year I’m breaking out my Bernardo thong sandals that I bought when I was pregnant with Jackson, and, while I did have to have them re-soled midway through last summer, they have otherwise held up incredibly well after almost daily wear through most of the spring and summer seasons of 2011 and 2012. Not only are they chic and go with just about anything — jeans, shorts, skirts, dresses/I’d wear them just about anywhere but a job interview and a funeral — they are also super, super comfortable. Living in New York, I walk a lot — anywhere from one to four miles a day while usually pushing a stroller, carrying a heavy diaper bag, and holding a large coffee drink (where’s my medal?) — so solid shoes are important. These get the job done and look good doing it.
2. Dr. Gross Tinted Moisturizer
I mentioned this tinted moisturizer in a recent open thread and promised to tell you more about it. Basically, I’m not a foundation girl — haven’t worn the stuff since I was maybe 14 or 15 — but in the last year or two age and motherhood have started taking a toll and my skin looks blotchier than it used to. I wanted something that would even out my color while providing sun protection and feel really light — nonexistent, preferably — on my face. The Dr. Gross Tinted Moisturizer does exactly that. It goes on super sheer and doesn’t feel all cloggy like a traditional foundation would. Right after I first applied it, along with the rest of my daily makeup, Drew, not knowing I had done anything different, said, “You look very beautiful today.” And over the next week, I had three other people compliment me on looking good. So, I’m totally sold. Also! At the time of this posting, it’s on sale 60% off!
3. Gap Split-V Striped Jersey T
So, here’s a fascinating tidbit about me: I basically live in striped shirts. I love them. Always have. In college, my roommate used to tease me because, if you opened my closet, it was pretty much just a sea of stripes. Eighteen years later, it’s still the same story. And I’m always on the look-out for the striped shirt I’m going to wear the hell out of this season (and then I buy two or three of them). Black and white stripes are my favorite, but I don’t discriminate; if the fabric is soft and the cut is flattering, I’m sold. And such is how this Gap striped jersey is. The split-v is especially flattering on large chests, provides ample coverage, and is nice and long for tall or curvy gals who might need a bit more fabric around their hips (holla). The material is thin, so it’s great for layering on a spring day or wearing out on a summer evening.
4. Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup
Back when I lived in Chicago, one of my favorite meals was this chicken lemon soup I got at a Greek restaurant in Andersonville. I don’t think it’s on the menu anymore, and I’ve never found a similar soup anywhere else. But the other day, I came across this recipe and thought it sounded pretty close, so I made it and guess what? It’s even better! It’s so light and delicious and easy to make — and cheap! I spent maybe eight bucks on enough ingredients for four servings — that it’s going into heavy rotation in my kitchen this spring and summer.
5. Bathing Beauty One Piece in Emerald
If I had to choose which chore I loathe least — swimsuit shopping or clipping Jackson’s nails — swimsuit shopping would win by a hair if only for those rare times I discover something that actually makes me look pretty cute — albeit in a late-30s, post-baby body kind of way. This vintage-inspired suit, which I bought before our trip to Dominican Republic last year, is so universally flattering 418 reviewers on Modcloth give it an average 5-star rating. Add me to the chorus singing its praises. It enhances curves while camouflaging what you want to camouflage and makes a woman feel a little like Marilyn Monroe on a beachy movie set. Hand me a Pina Colada and gigantic sunglasses and I’ll be all set.
6. Jockey No Panty Line Bikini Brief
Shortly before our forum discussion about underwear, I’d cleaned out my underwear drawer, thrown out everything I was no longer wearing, and ordered some new undies I hoped would be comfortable and cute. I bought three pairs of these Jockey No Line bikini briefs and immediately purchased five or six more pair. They’re now basically all I wear. I know that FBU (full-butt underwear) isn’t for everyone, but it’s for me and these briefs (sorry, I can’t bring myself to say “panties”) are not only comfortable, they don’t scrunch and move about and go up your crack and that. Plus, as promised, they don’t create a panty line. Plus, they come is lots of fun colors and prints with great names like “Red Rose Cougar” and “Oversized Victorian Medal.”
7. Catwalk Root Boost
The first time I appeared on the “Today Show,” the hair stylist used this product to give my hair more lift. I’d never heard of it before, but it worked so well, I quickly went out and bought my own can later that day. After having Jackson, my get-ready routine got slimmed down to shower, dress, dab some shit on my face, and throw my hair in a ponytail so that, as a result, I kind of forgot about the root boost. But then my hair fell out as it does after you have a baby (it happens) and I lost even more with my thyroid disorder, so I’ve been trying to make it look fuller ever since. A couple weeks ago, I saw the Catwalk Root Boost in the drugstore and was like, “Oh, right!” I bought some and used it that day, an then, when I ran into a friend of mine, she was all, “Woah, Glamour Shots!” which I took as a compliment. Full disclosure though: I still mostly stick to my slimmed-down get-ready routine and save the root boost and blow drying for when I wanna change out of yoga pants and be all fancy and stuff.
8. Soy Ginger Salad Dressing from Trader Joe’s
This isn’t new to me this season – I’ve been buying this stuff for years — but it occurred to me that I hadn’t shared my love of it with you and that was oh, so wrong of me. It’s a salad dressing — and accomplishes that function beautifully, with a tangy, slightly Asian flavor — but it works equally well, if not better, as a marinade or stir fry sauce. My quick go-to meal when I’m too tired to get elaborate but want a healthful dinner, is to pour a quarter bottle of the dressing into a pan or wok along with veggies and chicken (or ground turkey), and mix in some brown rice. Garlic, soy sauce, and maybe some ginger (fresh or ground) are all the additions you need for a delicious, easy meal. For a marinade, I like to add a quarter bottle of the dressing to this recipe. Yum, yum, yum.
9. Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Dulce De Leche Ice Cream Bars
I saw these in the freezer section of my grocery store and since I’m trying to lose a few pounds in time for the two or three days this summer I might wear a bathing suit, the 120-calorie count on these guys piqued my interest. I bought a box, had one for dessert that night, and haven’t been able to think about anything else ever since. They should just re-name these ZOMG!!!!!!
10. The Storyteller
I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but “The Storyteller” is the first book I’ve read in its entirety in probably four or five months. I went through a phase of not reading books and it wasn’t pretty, friends. Luckily, this was a good book to jump-start my reading habit again. I’ll admit, the first 75 pages dragged on and I almost bagged the whole thing, but then it began picking up and, for a few hundred pages, I couldn’t put it down. There’s something Lifetime-movie-ish about the book — I don’t think I’ve read another Jodi Picoult novel, so this may just be her style of writing — and I know that doesn’t suit everyone, but it was what I needed to whet my appetite for more fiction. The story, with its plot twists, dramatic and heartbreaking descriptions, and compelling characters, drew me in, and I enjoyed re-discovering my love of exploring fictional worlds.