Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Reader Recs: TaraMonster’s Treasures

Tara profile picDear Wendy readers are some of the most intelligent, stylish, super-cool people around (it’s a proven fact), so, when a commenter suggested I create a regular feature for them to recommend some of their favorite products, it was a no-brainer and Reader Recs was born. Today’s recommendations come from TaraMonster, who lives on the sunniest side of Queens, NY with too many roommates and Rafi, her half-cat, half-dragon sidekick. She’s a text book writer and editor who will be 30 in 376 days, not that she’s counting. You can find her ramblings over at her blog, TheUglyCat, which she will (maybe) update after writing this sentence (possibly). Keep reading for her picks.

5042845205Nuance nail polish in Tiger Lily and Cayenne
Count me among the many DW’ers with a nail polish addiction. As I type this I’m wearing Nuance Cayenne. I’ve recently heard good things about Salma Hayek’s line of beauty products, but I didn’t realize I was buying her polish the first time I picked up a bottle last September. Nuance comes in really great colors and the polish tends to last quite a while. I actually got a compliment from Wendy on the Tiger Lily polish I was wearing at the NYC winter meet up! If Wendy likes it, it must be cool, amiright? [Yes!]

51tM3A8wTXL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris
When I recommended this book to a friend last week, she asked me if it’s about trapping happiness. I had to laugh because the premise couldn’t be more different. The Happiness Trap is actually what we get stuck in when we’re chasing what I like to think of as a “happiness high,” and how this does not lead to actual, long-term happiness. It focuses on accepting all your thoughts and feelings using a mindfulness-based technique called ACT, which I’ve found to be incredibly transformative. It has some wonky metaphors, as self-help books are wont to do, but there are gems in there, I promise you. It will also speak to you much more if you’re somewhat familiar with the uncomfortable sensation that can come along with poking around in your own head (translation: have you been to years of therapy? This one’s for you!).

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 1.30.37 PMChai Stainless Steel Tea Tumber
This was a Christmas gift from my brother. It keeps beverages hot or cold for hours and hours. The tea strainer is removable so you can you use it for coffee or tea. I tend to switch my caffeine habits up every few months, so this is the perfect all-in-one for me. It’s also come in handy this summer for keeping my white wine super cold on the beach!


41coPWSdciL._UX466_Herschel Duffel
I bought this for my ex-boyfriend during the long-distance portion of our relationship after witnessing him stuff his suit and dress shoes into his backpack for a wedding weekend (yes, Addie, that backpack!). It’s perfectly-sized for a weekend away, and it has a separate compartment for shoes, which is collapsible if you don’t need it. He used it constantly and I borrowed it a few times as well. It comes in lots of patterns and colors, so I’m going to have to get myself one of the cute printed ones.

61BhS2LOtxL._SX425_Dixit Journey
This last item is particularly cool. I played this game in Germany last fall when visiting some friends and just had to order it when I returned from my trip. Originally made in France, it’s now sold pretty widely. Dixit is an intellectual storytelling game that includes a large deck of beautifully illustrated cards. It requires you to be both creative and strategic and is best when played with 4 or more people, especially after a delicious brunch of freshly baked German bread with Nutella, when you’ve still got a carafe of grapefruit mimosa to finish!

Thanks, TaraMonster!

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 — and I would love it if at least two items could be found on Amazon where I am an affiliate. 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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8 comments… add one
  • Addie Pray September 25, 2014, 2:28 pm

    haha i love taramonster.

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    • TaraMonster September 25, 2014, 3:07 pm

      I had to put the backpack comment in there for you. Had to.

      Reply Link
  • jlyfsh September 25, 2014, 2:54 pm

    I really like that game. I think it might go on my husband’s christmas list!

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    • TaraMonster September 25, 2014, 3:08 pm

      It is SO MUCH FUN. I brought it to the Hamptons with me for Labor Day weekend and I think we played it about 8 times. It’s a crowd pleaser!

      Reply Link
  • Lianne September 25, 2014, 4:24 pm

    I love games! And am always on the hunt for something new and interesting to play – thanks for the recommendation!

    Speaking of games, we have Cards Against Humanity and registered for all of the expansion packs.

    Reply Link
  • Jennylou September 25, 2014, 5:10 pm

    Love the duffel bag!!

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  • peppers87 September 26, 2014, 4:06 pm

    OOH a shoe compartment in a duffel bag?? So smart.

    And Dixit! Mon ami francophone (?) has that game and brought it out at Christmas and I dominated so I loved it.

    Reply Link
    • TaraMonster September 28, 2014, 3:59 pm

      I totally dominate when I play it. That’s probably why I love it too!

      Reply Link

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