Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Readers Recs: AndSoItGoes Shares Her Faves

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Dear Wendy readers are some of the most intelligent, stylish, super cool people around (it’s a proven fact), so it’s a no-brainer to feature some of their favorite products. Many of the recommended products happen to be affiliate products, which means I’ll receive a commission on any click-throughs or purchases you make through the affiliate links. As always, I appreciate your support! Today’s recommendations comes from AndSoItGoes, who lives in California but will be moving to the east coast in a few weeks. Having just finished graduate school, she’ll begin teaching at a college in Philadelphia in the fall. She is also a writer (of academic stuff, poetry, and non-academic essays). She practices yoga and picked up Pilates after a back injury, loves candy, enjoys a good French 75, and has recently been re-watching “A Different World” on Netflix. Check out her recommendations:

I prefer cleaning my face with wipes, because it’s less hassle and because I’m less likely to be too rough on my skin. I’ve been using this kit for a few years and really love how smooth and bright it makes my skin. It used to be sold at CVS, but now I can only find it on Amazon. You’re supposed to use it every other day, so one package lasts two months.

I’ve been using Acme Made sleeves for a long time now, first with my MacBook Air and now with my new MacBook 12″. I purchased my first sleeve a bit hesitantly because I wasn’t in love with the look of it, but when I switched to the 12″ MacBook this year, I happily bought a new one. It’s a sturdy case that doesn’t look dirty over time and it’s a great design. Because the case has just the elastic strip, I have the option to leave the strip off to make the laptop accessible from inside my bag. I can pull it out without taking the case out with it.

This coffee grinder is worth the money (I paid $100 for mine). It is less noisy than some other models and, though a burr grinder is more expensive than a blade grinder, it grinds more consistently, which makes for a smoother cup of coffee. The consistency of a burr grinder is especially useful if you’re making espresso.

Going along with the grinder, I brew my coffee in this French press. It is much cheaper than a comparable Bodum model and is excellent quality. I’ve had mine for two years and never had a problem. Also, the stainless steel press is more sturdy than a glass one and keeps the coffee hot for much longer.

I never used to have problems with razor burn or shaving bumps, but I guess things change as you age. I had given up on shaving and switched to hair removal creams, despite that they don’t leave the skin as smooth, because it was the only way to avoid irritation. But thanks to this shave lotion, I’m back to using a razor. Some customers have complained that it doesn’t lather, but that’s the point — it’s a lotion, not a cream. It is much more moisturizing and doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. Also, though the price is a bit steep, the bottle is big and goes a long way.

There are so many books I would love to suggest, but I chose this one because it’s a great book, it’s an accessible introduction to poetry for those who don’t read much of it, and I think many of DW readers will find the subject matter relatable.

This personal water filter will turn 1500 liters of water into safe drinking water. It’s very small, cheap, and good for camping/travel. I actually bought mine primarily for emergency preparedness (i.e., in case of earthquakes). It’s a lot easier than stockpiling water, which is heavy and consumes a lot of space.

Thank you, AndSoItGoes! If you have some products you’d like to recommend to the DW audience, shoot me an email at wendy@dearwendy.com with links to five recommendations. (Write “reader recs” in the subject line, please). Your recommendations can be from any store or website, but they need to be accessible online. If your list is a good fit for the site, I’ll ask you to write a brief description of each item/explain what you love so much about it.

16 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Gwyneth6 June 23, 2016, 12:49 pm

    I also use a burr grinder (mines by breville and not digital but works very well, and it’s lasted 7 years so far https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000MDHH0Q/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1466704043&sr=8-3&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=breville+burr+grinder&dpPl=1&dpID=41zMA-gVCEL&ref=plSrch ) and French press.
    It’s a good combo for making less coffee. Gave away the espresso machine as the cleaning process and space it took didn’t merit making one cup now and then (I usually just buy a cup in the morning)

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      Anonymousse June 23, 2016, 2:39 pm

      We were solid French press burr grinder folks….but since we have moved and are in a temporary spot for two months and don’t have all of our stuff with us….we bought a bodum pour over, and we love it.

      https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LOCZ0K8/ref=twister_B01GPJC5SO?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

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      • avatar

        Gwyneth6 June 23, 2016, 3:38 pm

        Wow that is a very nice looking pour over!

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      • avatar

        Anonymousse June 23, 2016, 4:04 pm

        I was very skeptical, but it takes way less time (I know, a few minutes with a French press isn’t a lot, but I need my coffee!) and I dare say, smoother and less acidic? I’m smitten. Although, I’m scared I’m going to break it.

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      • avatar

        AndSoItGoes June 23, 2016, 9:53 pm

        My housemate has a pour over. It’s interesting that you say it’s even smoother than the french press, given that the brewing method is very similar. I switched to a press because I didn’t like the burnt taste drip coffee has. I’ll have to test it against the pourover sometime. 🙂

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      • Portia

        Portia June 24, 2016, 8:07 am

        I’m also a fan of pour-over. We got rid of our French press when my husband discovered that using metal filters, like a French press, when brewing coffee can raise your LDL cholesterol (the oils from the beans are not filtered out like with a paper filter). Anyway, I got some pour overs and I love how my coffee turns out. This is my favorite pour over (it fits over a mug): https://www.amazon.com/Hario-VDC-02W-Ceramic-Coffee-Dripper/dp/B000P4D5HG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1466773555&sr=8-1&keywords=Hario+VDC-02W+V60+Ceramic+Coffee+Dripper%2C+White

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  • avatar

    suzyinthesky June 23, 2016, 1:54 pm

    I love that you love French 75s! That’s my favorite cocktail and I love making it when I have people over … but most of my friends tend to think it’s too strong … meh, I probably need new friends!

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      AndSoItGoes June 23, 2016, 1:58 pm

      Too strong? Yes, you need new friends. 🙂

      I made myself a French 75 during Game 7 of the NBA finals and after all sorts of questions and taste tests from the rest of the guests at the house, I ended up using up a Costco size bottle of Tanqueray and two bottles of Champagne making drinks for others. We were all in on the French 75s.

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    • avatar

      snoopy128 June 23, 2016, 3:02 pm

      These friends must not be good people. French 75’s are where it’s at!

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark June 23, 2016, 2:48 pm

    That french press is AMAZING! I have been thinking about getting one! Does it come with instructions? Bittergaymark is coffee making challenged!

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark June 23, 2016, 2:52 pm

      And it’s SO mid century!!!

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      • avatar

        AndSoItGoes June 23, 2016, 9:50 pm

        I really love this press, too. It’s beautiful and really functional. I tend to drink a couple of cups of coffee over a few hours and I love that it keeps the coffee warm for awhile.

        I don’t know if it comes with instructions, but I if you’re coffee challenged and you can afford it, I’d buy the grinder (or similar grind that measures the coffee for you), a good electric kettle, and the french press. Then all you have to do is turn on the kettle and press the grind button on the grinder. When both are finished, combine in the french press, cover, leave for five minutes, and your coffee is ready.

        I have an awesome electric kettle that has temperature settings (e.g., 175 degrees for green tea, 200 degrees for french press) so my water temperature is always right on. Here’s the link to it (Wendy, can you add your affiliate info there?):
        https://www.amazon.com/Breville-BKE820XL-Variable-Temperature-1-8-Liter-Kettle/dp/B001DYERBK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1466736360&sr=8-2&keywords=breville+electric+kettle

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      • avatar

        AndSoItGoes June 23, 2016, 10:02 pm

        But if you don’t want to invest in all that, here’s the basic instructions that I’d use.

        1. Heat water to 200 degrees (just below boiling).
        2. Grind the coffee very coarsely. The general rule is to use 2 Tbsp of coffee for every 6oz of water, but you should adjust depending on how strong you like your coffee.
        3. Pour the coffee, then the water into the french press, cover, leave for 5 minutes.

        Some reasons things may not turn out well:
        Coffee to water ratio – when off, will make the coffee to weak or too strong
        Water temperature – too hot may make the coffee a bit more bitter, if it’s too cold, the coffee will be weak
        Grind – some people say that because a blade grinder produces heat, it also produces coffee that is more bitter than what you’d get with a burr grinder

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    Gwyneth6 June 23, 2016, 3:39 pm

    Thanks for the shaving lotion rec. may try that. Bumps are my nemesis

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      AndSoItGoes June 23, 2016, 9:51 pm

      You definitely should. I’ve had great results. It smells like baby powder, which isn’t my favorite scent, but it’s a small price to pay for being able to shave without problems.

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  • avatar

    d2 June 23, 2016, 10:31 pm

    I can endorse the Cuisinart Burr Grinder. I’ve had mine for about 8 years now.

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