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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

A Few Favorite Things

I was supposed to be getting my first colonoscopy today, a random fact you didn’t really need to know but now you do. Did you know that the age it’s now recommended folks starts getting regular colposcopies was recently lowered to 45, and since I’m 45, at my last check-up my doctor recommended that I schedule my first. I nodded and assured her I would, with zero intention of actually doing so. I waited six years after another doctor recommended I start getting mammograms before I finally got my first one last fall (something that was really no big deal and I’d recommend everyone get started as soon as they are advised to do so by their health care providers).

The day after my last check-up, I got a call from my doctor’s office and a very nice-sounding woman said she was ready to schedule my colonoscopy and what day would work for me? WTF? I have never had such efficient follow-up and, caught off guard, I said something stupid like, “As soon as possible.” So, she asked if I was available on February 15th and I chirped, “Oh, sure, that’s great!” like an idiot, and then she said, “Oh wait, that’s the day after Valentine’s Day, which means the 14th will be your prep day.” She said prep day was kind of unpleasant and was I sure I wanted to schedule for the 15th, and I was like, “It’s great! I don’t even care about Valentine’s Day, so it’s fine!”

But then February 1st came and I flipped the page on my calendar and saw the 15th circled and “colonoscopy” scrawled in the box, and I thought to myself, You know, February is already challenging enough what with the cold and the snow and Groundhog’s Day and the six more weeks of winter still to go, so I called my doctor’s office and I canceled that colonoscopy. Which brings me to today, and while I am glad I am not doing that thing that anyone who saw them recognized all five celebs who performed the Superbowl halftime show should schedule for themselves, it’s still February and I still need a little help to get through it. Fortunately, there are a few things that have been cheering me up, and maybe you’d like them too:

Somebody Somewhere
This is a new comedy series on HBO that stars (and is produced by) comedian and singer Bridget Everett (HBO’s Camping). I was unfamiliar with Everett, but I have become a fast fan. In Somebody Somewhere, she plays Sam, “a true Kansan on the surface who, beneath it all, struggles to fit the hometown mold.” She moved back to her hometown to help care for her chronically ill sister, and the show takes place after the sister’s death when it explores Sam’s grappling with grief and who she is without her sister. Through this, singing is her saving grace, and we watch as she joins a singing group full of other misfits who form a community together that one might imagine could be the support Sam is desperate for.

(Another show I’m enjoying is Better Things, which just began its new season. And if you haven’t seen it, I still highly recommend the super quirky docu-style show, How To with Jon Wilson. (All three of these shows, while pretty different, bring refreshing takes on modern humanity and relationships and they feature characters who don’t take themselves or life too seriously.)

Le Bon ‘Cloud’ Socks
I discovered the Le Bon brand of socks at a little boutique in Beacon, NY, a quaint town about 90 minutes north of Manhattan that my family likes to visit for long weekends. I spotted the sparkly socks on a table after I decided that the two $100 sweaters I’d just tried on weren’t worth the money. Twelve dollars for socks was more budget-friendly, and these were really pretty, so I got them. And, wow, they are so comfortable, they quickly became a work horse of my (small) wardrobe. Then I got a marketing email from the company a few weeks ago alerting me to a new sock called “cloud,” which the email claimed were “the coziest, the comfiest, and the cutest socks around.” Well, I’m a sucker for cozy, comfy socks, so I ordered two pair, and let me tell you, they really, truly are the coziest, comfiest socks I’ve ever owned. Need these as stocking stuffers every year, please.

Kristin Ess The One Signature Hair Gloss – Copper Penny
As I mentioned earlier, I’m 45 now and, in addition to needing regular colonoscopies now, I guess I also need something to boost the color of my quickly-fading red hair. Fun fact: natural redheads don’t go grey until much later than other people (my grandpa was in his 80s before he was mostly grey); what happens is the color fades over time, starting around 30. By now, and especially in the middle of winter, my natural color is kinda meh, and even with the color conditioner I’ve recommended in the past (and still recommend!), the boost of color only lasts a few days. I needed something longer-lasting but wouldn’t cost $200 and hours of my time at the salon. Enter: Kristin Ess The One Signature Hair Gloss – Copper Penny. I knew nothing about this, but it was cheap enough to take a gamble on, and I’m so glad I did. One application brings my hair back to the color it was 20 years ago, instantly brightening my face and my mood, and the color lasts 3-4 weeks. I’m on my fourth use and so happy with it. I can’t speak to the other colors or products, but if you are looking for a copper color gloss to try at home, look no further (and if you’ve tried any of their other glosses, let us know what you thought!).

No-bake energy ball recipe
Every week I make a batch of either granola bars or energy balls that are easy treats/snacks to grab when hunger and cravings hit. Lately, I’ve been making this recipe from one of my favorite cooking blogs, Love and Lemons (who always has the tastiest healthy recipes). I’m a fan of this recipe for energy balls because it uses only a few ingredients (and nothing too expensive or hard to find), and it’s super filling, delicious, and easily adaptable to personal taste and dietary needs. After indulging over the holidays, these energy balls have totally curbed by sweet tooth cravings. Now if only something could cure me of my desire to eat a loaf of bread and guzzle a bottle of wine every couple days…

What about you? Anything new you’re enjoying that’s getting you through winter?

15 comments… add one
  • ktfran February 15, 2022, 11:26 am

    1. Love and Lemons is my go-to food blog. Hands down. I recognized the pic immediately. I love that her recipes are adaptable.

    2. We watched White Lotus last week. I hated it, but I also couldn’t stop watching, so I dunno? I did love Jennifer Coolidge. She’s caftan goals. And she brought some much needed humor to a very depressing show.

    3. Wordle is getting me through this winter, as is Kitchfix. We’re only picking up two meals a week from them, but I needed a meal planning break. Cooking no longer brings me joy like it once did.

    4. My sister, BIL, niece and nephew came over for the Super Bowl. The husband made chili. My five-year-old nephew said it was the best night of his like. Ha! I think he was just excited to get out of his house. They’re still being really careful because my niece is too young to be vaccinated. She’s never been to a restaurant, or even inside a store. Fingers crossed little kids can get a shot soon.

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    • ktfran February 15, 2022, 11:27 am

      Oh, and I saved a pic of those socks when you posted on IG. I want a pair.

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    • Dear Wendy February 15, 2022, 12:07 pm

      White Lotus is not for everyone, but I loved it! Jennifer Coolidge is so good.

      And I love Wordle too, but the last few have been hard for me.

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  • Rangerchic February 15, 2022, 12:06 pm

    Having Crohn’s disease, I’ve had two colonoscopies. The actual procedure really isn’t that big a deal. They put you under. It really is the prep and the after that is kind of terrible. The first time, the prep was much better and unfortunately, I can’t remember the exact stuff I used (I think Miralax might have been involved?). The second time was even more awful. They used different prep stuff that involved Gatorade. I cannot touch Gatorade to this day after that. Just seeing the bottles makes me want to puke. It was so bad in the end of drinking my prep I couldn’t finish. I guess I finished enough because the actual procedure went fine. Then the gas build up in the stomach afterwards was very painful. I don’t think I had that after the first (or not as bad) so I guess it depends on the doctor (different clinics for each).

    I’m not saying all this to scare anyone! Having one is super important. Just be prepared. I thought I was prepared for the second but I guess not.

    I think I’ll have to invest in some of those socks. I’m in a space right now that I don’t like hardly any of my clothes and want to just go buy more of everything…shirts, shoes, socks! But that costs money and I don’t know what I really want.

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  • Moneypenny February 15, 2022, 12:57 pm

    I had a colonoscopy in October (at 36) because I had been having some aches in my abdomen. (Turns out it was remnants of an infection.)
    For me, the prep was ok- it was 2 – 16oz glasses of this red stuff you mixed with water and tasted like cherry medicine. It was kinda hard to drink all of it, but other than that I just had broth and jello. Probably the worst part of the prep was being hungry and knowing I couldn’t eat anything solid. The procedure was easy- in fact I was so comfortable (and the nurses were so nice!) that I wasn’t ready to get up because I just wanted to keep napping. Anyhoo, it turned out to be not a huge deal after worrying about it for awhile ahead of time!

    I recently bought the Crossover Bra from Honeylove – it’s no underwire and you have the option to criss cross the back. It’s super comfortable and flattering! I highly recommend if you’re looking for something new.

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  • Joe Wood February 15, 2022, 2:19 pm

    Hey Wendy! I pick the oddest times to catch up on your posts, but I just wanted to say that I’ve had one colonoscopy. I dreaded it, but it was not all that bad at all. The prep was the worst, and honestly drinking the stuff was worse than the results of drinking it, and none of it was exactly horrific. I’d very much recommend *not* using a drink you especially like or drink often to use to chase down the laxative – you might end up avoiding it later. The procedure is basically a nap for you. Easy peasy. I strongly recommend having your ride home bring food when they get you – you will probably be famished. All in all, though, it’s not a big deal in any way. I hope you schedule one soon, and then you’ll be set for years.

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    • Dear Wendy February 15, 2022, 3:37 pm

      Hey, Joe! Nice to see ya – hope all’s well with you.

      Thanks for the colonoscopy tips! Your prep drink recommendation reminds me of the time I got drunk on vodka and grapefruit juice my freshman year of college and I got so miserably sick, I’ve never been able to stomach grapefruit since.

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  • anonymousse February 15, 2022, 3:38 pm

    I love that show. It brings me joy.

    I’d wondered about the Kristin Ess Gloss. I wasn’t sure if it was truly a gloss or a dye where I see it at my local Target. I might have to try it.

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  • Copa February 16, 2022, 11:13 am

    I have serious post-vacation blues right now. I keep telling myself I just need to make it to March, which is when the first hints of spring usually surface… but if nothing else, the days will be longer. Until spring, I will be living under my heated blanket, which is a favorite gift from my sister from several years ago.

    I also love Love and Lemons. The author lives in my neighborhood (or, at least, she did last I knew) and I’ve wondered if I’d recognize her since I check her website for recipes regularly. I once recognized The Korean Vegan, who is also Chicago-based, while out for a run.

    We’re late to the Ted Lasso party but we’ve been watching that one together and both enjoy it.

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    • ktfran February 16, 2022, 11:21 am

      My fave “food celebrity” siting here was Curtis Duffy. He was walking his dog outside Ever. I have a MAJOR crush on him of which the husband is well aware. Although if you dine at Ever, they offer to take you through the kitchen at the end of your meal and you can check him out in action. The kitchen is pristine and they all have their masks on!

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  • CattyGoLightly February 16, 2022, 5:32 pm

    1. Joe Pera Talks to You on HBO was a favorite this winter. They’re soothing little 11-22 minute episodes, and he makes me think of Mr. Rogers but for adults. They’re good palate cleansers if you watch something heavy before bed and need to unwind afterwards.

    2. Altra hiking shoes. I’ve used boots for years, but they’re so lightweight and have a wide toebox for my Fred Flinstone feet.

    3. The King Arthur recipe for homemade bagels. I overcooked mine a little bit, but I’m making them again over the long weekend because I can tell they’d be perfect if I would just set a kitchen timer.

    4. Burts Bee’s cuticle cream. I put some on at least twice a day and my nails are less likely to break, and I get compliments on my hands from other ladies.

    5. Baby bouquets from Trader Joe’s. Considering they only cost 4 dollars they’re so cheerful (for those of us not gifted in flower arrangement).

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    • Dear Wendy February 17, 2022, 8:52 am

      Drew LOVES Joe Pera Talks to You. We watched all the episodes this winter, too. And yes to cheap bouquets from Trader Joe’s!

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  • Fyodor February 17, 2022, 10:05 am

    I was told I needed to get a colonoscopy too. I used to think that I was staying ahead of my health maintenance but now I feel like I’m behind.

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  • misspiggy February 25, 2022, 4:05 am

    Wendy, I have to admit I’d assumed the gorgeous hair colour in your photos was helped with occasional dyeing, because none of the redheads I know have kept their colour past the early 40s. How wrong I was!

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    • Dear Wendy February 25, 2022, 2:54 pm

      Aw, that’s nice of you to say; I do get a little help from the color conditioners and this gloss I mention.

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