Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

My Spring Favorites, 2013

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.

41AQUNmHv9L1. 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.

41R66wz7YKL._SY355_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!

cn58861223. 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.

lemony-chicken-and-orzo-soup-6464. 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.

e05fe2cfd6b6dd8fd219aae7642f3dfb5. 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.

001333_f6. 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.”

21J6ArmOXlL7. 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.

41FPNuiFBaL._SX342_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.

06-WW-Dulce-de-Leche-NEW9. 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!!!!!!

the-storyteller-39510. 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.

62 comments… add one
  • applescruffs May 1, 2013, 1:47 pm

    Warming? It is snowing. My tulips are covered with snow. I AM ANGRY.

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    • honeybeenicki May 1, 2013, 2:55 pm

      It’s warm here right now and was yesterday too, but tomorrow is supposed to be like 35 degrees cooler than it was today. But… at least it’s not snowing (yet?).

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    • Taylor May 1, 2013, 3:28 pm

      Are you in CO? 8″ of snow in Fort Collins today, one of the few times I’m all “woot! OH weather!!”

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      • iwannatalktosampson May 1, 2013, 4:33 pm

        Another Colorado friend?

      • Taylor May 1, 2013, 9:15 pm

        Lived there for 10 years, moved to OH a couple of years ago. I miss the awesome fat spring snowflakes, and how pretty it is when the sun comes out and it starts to evaporate 🙂

    • redessa May 1, 2013, 4:27 pm

      It was snowing when I got up this morning too. Allergy season hasn’t even started yet, much less be almost over. Although last week was beautiful and my neighbor’s tulips did bloom. Hope they survive after this week!

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  • Imsostartled May 1, 2013, 1:48 pm

    Hi Wendy! The link for the tinted moisturizer isn’t working for me. I want to make sure you get the credit for it when I purchase it. 😀

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    • Wendy May 1, 2013, 1:55 pm

      Thanks! It’s fixed now.

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      • Imsostartled May 1, 2013, 3:43 pm

        bought it! 😀

  • lets_be_honest May 1, 2013, 1:56 pm

    YES! Love these lists.

    Buying that suit! Already have the Gap shirt…love it also.

    The ice cream – Try skinny cow too. Its amazing.
    Hair stuff – got2b powderful is really good for that too. And cheap.

    Finally, re Drew’s comment on how good you look not knowing you had makeup on, I get the opposite. I’m always told how tired I look when I’m not wearing makeup. Its annoying.

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    • Wendy May 1, 2013, 2:18 pm

      I like Skinny Cow, too, but right now I’m liking the WW even more.

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      • lets_be_honest May 1, 2013, 2:21 pm

        I’ll have to try it then. I couldn’t imagine any “diet” ice cream better than skinny cow.

      • lets_be_honest May 1, 2013, 2:23 pm

        Is there a way we can link to your Amazon? I wanted to mention the hair stuff, but it’d be cooler to mention it with a link to your Amazon.

      • Wendy May 1, 2013, 2:26 pm

        I have a plugin that converts any Amazon link posted on my site to my affiliate ID, so as long as you post a link to Amazon — any link at all — it will connect to my affiliate ID. Thanks!

      • gatecrashergirl May 2, 2013, 1:56 pm

        That soup link had me craving it so badly I went to my favorite Greek restaurant last night. Favorite soup ever.

    • lets_be_honest May 1, 2013, 2:33 pm

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  • GatorGirl May 1, 2013, 2:04 pm

    Wendy I love that bathing suit!! I bought my first not bikini last year and it’s a similar retro looking one peice, and I love it. I’ll have to look into that one!

    I also bought my first maxi dress Sunday. I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

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    • bethany May 1, 2013, 2:46 pm

      Maxi dresses are AMAZING. You’ll love it.

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      • ktfran May 1, 2013, 2:48 pm

        seconded and thirded.

      • Fabelle May 1, 2013, 2:55 pm

        Fourth-ded… I remember not knowing where the hell to wear it at first, but then something came up & it was like a light bulb “I CAN FINALLY WEAR THE MAXI.” They’re super comfortable, also.

      • iwannatalktosampson May 1, 2013, 3:01 pm

        Soooo comfortable. I wear them everywhere. Happy hour, baseball games, running errands, to the pool/lake over my swimsuit. Target randomly has really cute ones for pretty cheap.

      • ktfran May 1, 2013, 3:06 pm

        so comfortable! and most of them aren’t fitted, so you don’t have to worry about bulges anywhere.

      • iwannatalktosampson May 1, 2013, 3:09 pm

        I must be the only person in the world that thinks that when clothes are really fitted they’re more comfortable. Yoga clothes, shirts, and maxi dresses specifically.

      • ktfran May 1, 2013, 3:16 pm

        i like jeans and pants super fitted. maxi dresses, i tend to buy loose. a lot of tops i buy loose too. skirts and dresses vary.

      • lets_be_honest May 1, 2013, 3:36 pm

        That’s because you are so fit you don’t have to suck in when you wear fitting clothes.

      • katie May 1, 2013, 3:56 pm

        i have never even put on a maxi dress.

        im like a child, you guys. i need someone to dress me in the mornings… ugh

      • Amybelle May 1, 2013, 11:23 pm

        On a really hot day, commando in a maxi dress is the way to go.

      • GatorGirl May 1, 2013, 3:12 pm

        I got this one for $11 bucks this weekend

        I don’t wear much of anything other than jeans so it was going out on a limb a bit for me. I figured some cute sandals and probably a patterned scarf would would.

  • EricaSwagger May 1, 2013, 2:13 pm

    Wendy — For the moisturizer, what color did you purchase?

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    • Wendy May 1, 2013, 2:17 pm

      I’m pretty fair-skinned, so I got the light and it blends right in.

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      • EricaSwagger May 1, 2013, 2:24 pm

        Thanks! I’m never sure between light and light/medium.

      • Fabelle May 1, 2013, 2:26 pm

        I’m in the same boat. Usually I’ll slather the “try me!” bottles all over my face in-store, so I’m kind of afraid to order online (even though Wendy–& the price– is tempting me greatly. HMM.)

      • kare May 1, 2013, 11:48 pm

        If I buy a tinted moisturizer that ends up being too dark, I just mix in a dab of regular moisturizer to lighten it.

  • Fabelle May 1, 2013, 2:18 pm

    Ugh, I’m in a no book reading phase right now & it SUCKS.

    Also, ugh to bikini shopping. What I’ve been doing lately is just buying without trying on. It’s been working out fine, surprisingly.

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    • ktfran May 1, 2013, 2:50 pm

      i heart the swimsuits from jcrew. only when on sale. like they are right now. i know my size, so it’s super easy to order.

      don’t know why i’m not capitalizing. lazy today i guess.

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      • lets_be_honest May 1, 2013, 2:56 pm

        I just got a one piece from there, never ordered a bathing suit online, but I got lucky. Fits great.

      • ktfran May 1, 2013, 3:04 pm

        yay! they’re really well made and they don’t ball up like cheap swimsuits. my black on lasted for years and years, until i accidentally threw the top in the dryer and it got caught and ruined.

    • redessa May 1, 2013, 4:33 pm

      Swimsuit shopping is the worst! I like the tankinis where everything is covered but you can still go to the bathroom. And I did buy one a few weeks ago without trying it on and I actually like it a lot. I wouldn’t mind a bikini but the stretch marks and “frankenstein” surgery scars might scare off everyone around me. Then again, I’d get the pool to myself LOL.

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  • Sue Jones May 1, 2013, 3:03 pm

    We had 70’s and gorgeous over the weekend, and today we have a blizzard with 5-10″ of snow. You would think that I would be used to this by now…

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  • Addie Pray May 1, 2013, 3:13 pm

    No fair – why is the medium tint twice as expensive as the light/medium? buh humbug.

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    • FireStar May 1, 2013, 3:26 pm


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  • TECH May 1, 2013, 3:24 pm

    Just bought the moisturizer and three pairs of underwear. Thanks for the recommendations Wendy, I hope you get lots of Amazon credits today! I never treat myself to anything and this Spring Favorites list reminds me that it’s okay to do that sometimes. Especially when recovering from a breakup, you have to be nice to yourself.

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    • iwannatalktosampson May 1, 2013, 3:27 pm

      How is everything going with that? Update please!

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      • TECH May 1, 2013, 3:54 pm

        Well, the update is we are still broken up, and I feel lonely and sad. I just keep telling myself, no matter what, I am going to be fine, and he is going to be fine.

  • Amanda May 1, 2013, 4:06 pm

    I have that exact bathing suit in the emerald green. I LOVE it! It’s so comfortable and really flattering. I wish I had one in black too.

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  • AliceInDairyland May 1, 2013, 3:19 pm

    OMG Lemon and Orzo = LOVE. My favorite thing to eat of all time is this lemon-dill-chickpea-orzo salad and this sounds really similar. Never thought of turning it into a soup. Nom.

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  • findingtheearth May 1, 2013, 3:20 pm

    I am a huge Jodi Picoult fan, so I will have to add this to my list. I tried to read it last November, but I had a baby instead.

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  • sobriquet May 1, 2013, 5:49 pm

    This should be a weekly thing. They used to do that on the hairpin- a column every Friday with links of things to spend your allowance on ). Big items, small items, clothes, jewelry, makeup, dinnerware, etc.

    It could be a good way to generate revenue on a weekly basis and hopefully not too time consuming if people emailed links of specials throughout the week! I know there are some DWers here with an awesome fashion sense.

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    • lets_be_honest May 1, 2013, 7:42 pm

      Best idea ever! I keep wishing Wendys Picks had more weekly suggestions. It’d be even cooler if commenters gave suggestions too. Of course, that’d only work if they were DW affiliates.

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      • Wendy May 1, 2013, 7:53 pm

        Well, it’s ok if some things aren’t affiliates. Right now, I’m working on some wedding gift guides that will include plenty of stuff from non-affiliates. I’m going to do a whole wedding week, y’all! Watch out.

      • GatorGirl May 2, 2013, 8:12 am

        ut oh! Will there be a “how to be a good guest” guide? If so, it should definitely include “RSVP on time”!

  • LadyinPurpleNotRed May 1, 2013, 7:26 pm

    The soup sounds incredible! I can’t wait to try it out

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  • bittergaymark May 1, 2013, 8:07 pm

    The entire patio/outdoor collection at CB2 has me drooling… So much cool stuff. I wish my own secret patio wasn’t already so fabulous…

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    • katie May 1, 2013, 8:39 pm

      i want a secret patio!!

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      • bittergaymark May 1, 2013, 9:03 pm

        It actually IS pretty fabulous… How is it “secret?” Well, for starters… to get there, you literally have to climb out my window… It’s all very Breakfast At Tiffany’s. I might submit it to Apartment Therapy website… if it goes well, I’ll promote it on here.

      • Addie Pray May 1, 2013, 10:33 pm

        BGM, I need deck furniture! I was going to try to find some this weekend. So, CB2? There’s a CB2 just a bit down the street from me. …. So you want to pick out my deck furniture for me? I want a sectional couch, two lounge chairs, and a table. … and a tiki bar. And I want a big rug that looks like fake grass.

      • Addie Pray May 1, 2013, 10:33 pm

        i also want a hammock.

      • Bittergaymark May 2, 2013, 12:51 am

        I think that IKEA has a great outdoor wicker sectional that is very reasonablely priced… At CB2, I am obsessed with the Ixtapa Chairs…

      • Addie Pray May 2, 2013, 8:46 am

        Love those chairs! I’m getting two for my front porch. I’ll check out ikea for the rest. I’m *almost* done furnishing my new place. Deck stuff was out on hold until now.

  • quixoticbeatnik May 1, 2013, 9:41 pm

    I LOVED the Storyteller! I couldn’t put it down either. But then again, I love all of Jodi Picoult’s stuff – I have almost all of her books. I like your Spring Favorites, Wendy!

    I need new sandals and more bathing suits. I’ve been swimming a lot lately and it’s nice. Only on the days that Houston has fabulous weather, of course. We’ve had some weird weather changes the past couple of weeks but I think it’s finally turning into summer! Even though it’s disgustingly hot here during the summer, summer is nice because it’s SUMMER!

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  • karenwalker May 3, 2013, 10:37 am

    I bought the moisturizer last night and it’s being shipped today! I also love those weight watchers ice cream bars, but I haven’t been able to find them at my grocery store. One tip I learned from WW is to take the ice cream off the stick and put in a bowl, chop it up and mix in fresh fruit (my favs being strawberries and blueberries) and some cool whip (I use the fat free kind, 2 tbsp for 20 calories). It tastes so decadent and is low cal. Which is great since it’s bathing suit time soon. I have that suit in black. I want it in green and the black one with cherries!

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