Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Reader Recs: Ladybug’s Picks

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 1.08.30 PMDear 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 Ladybug, who is a singleton living in Alexandria, VA with Jinx, her very spoiled Siamese cat. She works for a non-profit group that promotes government transparency (meaning she gets paid to embarrass the powers that be as often as possible), and, when she’s not working on that, she enjoys cooking, drinking wine, traveling, and feeding her addiction to fantasy/sci-fi series and British period dramas. Here are Ladybug’s recommendations:

I discovered Solar Recover spray on vacation in Florida three years ago, and it has literally saved my pasty white skin multiple times since. The first time I used it I sprayed it on a developing sunburn throughout the evening and woke up to a slightly pink-tinged tan when I should have looked like a freshly cooked lobster. Even on fully developed burns, it soothes the pain, keeps you from peeling, and helps the burn heal more quickly. Plus, it feels and smells much better than any aloe treatment I’ve tried. I can see where it would be a great daily moisturizer too.

Any woman in the D-cup and up club will know the struggle of trying to keep everything in place during a workout. I was seriously considering duct tape when I tried this sports bra. Now I can actually run, jump, and generally move without feeling like my boobs are going to smack me in the face or pop out of my top any second. There is minimal movement with this thing on, but somehow it doesn’t feel like it’s crushing my chest.

I bought these yoga sling flip flops hoping they’d be cool and comfy for my public transport commute in the summer but more secure than a normal flip flop, and they quickly became my favorite summer sandals. The yoga mat foot-bed is amazingly comfortable, and the cloth holds my foot securely without slipping or rubbing. And if they get dirty or start to feel stretched out, you can toss them in the washing machine and let them air dry — they’ll come out clean and snap back into shape.

I may be developing romantic feelings for my instant pot, and I’m strangely OK with that. This is without a doubt the best kitchen purchase I’ve ever made. I haven’t tried out every feature, but it slow cooks my standard crock pot recipes beautifully, and the steam feature is my new go-to method for cooking veggies. The real attraction here, though, is the pressure cooking. This is nothing like the old school stove top pressure cookers that hissed and rattled until you thought they were about to explode. Just plug it in and push a couple buttons, and you’ll go from raw ingredients to a beautifully cooked dinner in an hour or less.

I love a cup of tea in the evening, and this little pot has made it so easy to explore the wonderful world of loose leaf teas. Just spoon the tea into the strainer, pour boiling water over it, let it sit for a few minutes, then pour. The product description says it makes three cups, but I’d say it’s the perfect size for two good cups — or one giant mug. Everything but the metal lid goes in the dishwasher, so clean-up is even easier than making the tea.

Thanks, Ladybug!

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.

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13 comments… add one
  • othy May 19, 2016, 12:05 pm

    I have been eyeing those yoga flip flops for a long time. They look so comfy.

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    • vanderjohnsenberg May 19, 2016, 12:37 pm

      I have worn the normal sanuk flip flops for years and I love them. The yoga mat bottoms are so comfortable. I’m sure the sling flip flops are similar.

      Reply Link
  • bittergaymark May 19, 2016, 12:35 pm

    Solar Recover Spray? Never heard of that. Sounds awesome.

    The teapot is cute and loose teas drove me nuts until I bought a similar pot some years back. Meanwhile, the Instant Pot is intriguing…

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    • Dear Wendy May 19, 2016, 12:50 pm

      If I were getting married again, I’d put that instant pot on my registry!

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      • honeybeenicki May 19, 2016, 3:49 pm

        How about a “I’m not getting married or anything but I really like this stuff” registry?

  • mcj2012 May 19, 2016, 12:59 pm


    Ladybug, would love some British Period Drama recommendations.

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    • Ladybug May 19, 2016, 8:30 pm

      Let’s see…Downton Abbey (of course), Mr. Selfridge, Call the Midwife, Poldark, Wolf Hall, and North & South. If you like mysteries too, there’s Foyle’s War, Grantchester, and Endeavour (which feeds into the Inspector Morse and Inspector Lewis series).

      Reply Link
  • Anonymousse May 19, 2016, 1:07 pm

    I have a couple of those sports bras, they are the best! Those sandals look really comfy.

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  • csp May 19, 2016, 1:10 pm

    Wait, I have a sports bra question. Do the hooks cause abrasions when running?

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    • Anonymousse May 19, 2016, 2:11 pm

      No, there is a slip of fabric between the hooks and your skin, I believe.

      Reply Link
  • Moneypenny May 19, 2016, 5:18 pm

    Whoa, that Instant Pot sounds like just what I need. I’m looking for a crock pot, but this sounds so much better! And I wish I had known about that Solar Recovery Spray much sooner- I had too many overcooked-tomato scenarios when I was younger…

    Reply Link
    • Ladybug May 19, 2016, 7:42 pm

      I bought the instant pot as a crock pot replacement– I just wanted a timer feature, but online reviews and recipe websites sold me on the pressure cooker. Both features work beautifully, but having a beef stew ready an hour after I got home from work made the pressure setting my favorite.

      And yeah, solar recover would have made my younger years much less painful.

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      • Callifax May 21, 2016, 9:02 am

        Do you have any good Instant Pot recipes you’d like to share? I JUST got one (and tried my first curry with it this week, which came out great!) and I’d love some ideas for what to make with it.


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