Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Reader Recs: Zombeyonce’s Picks

zombeyonceDear 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 Zombeyonce, who lives in green and liberal Portland, Oregon, with her husband in their new house. She spends a lot of time painting her walls in new bright colors that appall her taupe-loving mother. She spends the rest of her time excessively reading young adult fiction (mainly supernatural or sci-fi-ish) and watching shows about things that are either very far from her reality or make her cry (“Game of Thrones,” “Orphan Black,” “Parenthood”). As a typical Portlander, she also does a lot of recycling, listens to the soothing sounds of rain in her garden, and travels to other places with weather that always ends up reminding her of Portland (New Zealand, United Kingdom). Check out her recommendations below.

413Mef6A3oL._SY300_Bamboo Bath Caddy
This will level up your bath time. It perches on the sides of your tub and has a stand for a book so you don’t have to worry about dropping it in the water. (I’ll admit to even dangerously reading my Kindle in the tub with this thing). Even better is the holder for a wine glass to make your bath super classy. Just add water (and bubbles, of course).

9306975“Jenny Pox” (Paranormals Book 1)
This is the first book in a four-book series. It’s about a teenage girl named Jenny who can’t touch people with her bare skin because it gives them terrible plague-like symptoms and can even kill them. She is ostracized by the rural community where she lives and meets another person with a different and strange ability. The characters are really well thought-out (even the villain is well-developed and complicated beyond being just pure evil) and it’s a premise that I haven’t seen before in other supernatural fiction.

51+LEdvryPL._SY300_PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag
I bought this because it was annoying to always have to fit an ice pack in my lunch and then find space in the crowded fridge at work for my bag. This bag has the ice pack built into the sides; you just keep it in the freezer before you pack your lunch and it’ll stay cold most of the day. It’s also a great defense against lunch thieves since you can just keep it at your desk all day. And there are tons of cute patterns; I got the red and blue robot bag (back when it was available with Prime). [I’ve included this on past gift guides and even got one for Drew as a gift once. He uses it all the time! — Wendy]

511PWzbvIsL._SL190_CR0,0,190,246_Stitched Flap Cross-Body Handbag
I bought this bag for a whirlwind trip around Ireland and Scotland, and it’s exactly what I looked for for months: soft, adjustable, medium-sized, pocketed, and water-resistant. It’s got zippered pockets on the front, back, and inside, and two open pockets on the inside for a phone and whatnot. There’s a big open space inside that is the right size for my Kindle Fire and tall wallet, plus a few other things. It comes in lots of fun colors (yellow!) and the strap can be adjusted to wear across your body or on your shoulder to match the occasion and outfit. It really is soft, and so it hangs nicely against my hip instead of jutting out, which I really like.

31e0TwenV7LProgressive International Collapsible Produce Keeper
This thing saves so much produce, and I love it dearly. It has a little knob to adjust how much air comes in and a place to add water as well (with a handy little guide on the knob) so you can store different types of fruits and veggies and they’ll stay fresh so much longer than if you just stuck them in the fridge in their original packaging. It also collapses, so it doesn’t take up much room when you store it in between uses. I like using it for lettuce more than anything else since lettuce is so delicate and can take up a lot of space. Anyone who eats veggies needs this thing.


Thanks, Zombeyonce!

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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16 comments… add one
  • for_cutie June 19, 2014, 1:23 pm

    I have the pink pattern PackIt and I love it too. Perfect for meals for the baby/kids when we travel or eat out. Just throw it in the bottom of the stroller for a picnic. We have also used it for ‘adult beverages’ and food. It is great and stores easily in the freezer when not in use. Totally recommend it!

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      Portia June 19, 2014, 3:26 pm

      I think I might have to get that, I use a regular lunch bag with an ice pack and it gets the job done, but this seems so much better!

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  • snoopy128 June 19, 2014, 1:41 pm

    I need that bath caddy in my life right now.

    Ps. I’m so broke right now (yay unpaid practicum for my Masters) that I”ve started compiling a birthday wishlist for my family and bf. This will go on my list! My birthday isn’t for another 2 months…

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  • jlyfsh June 19, 2014, 3:24 pm

    I’m newly addicted to Orphan Black! That first book is free on the kindle store right now. Which means I’ll probably get hooked and end up buying the rest of the series soon!

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    • zombeyonce June 19, 2014, 3:43 pm

      That’s exactly how they got me. But the later books aren’t that expensive, so that helped me justify it.

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    Diablo June 19, 2014, 3:31 pm

    That produce keeper would save me a lot of money, but doesn’t it take up a lot of space?

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      Diablo June 19, 2014, 3:32 pm

      There would be no “between uses” as we always have produce in the fridge.

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    • zombeyonce June 19, 2014, 3:44 pm

      It does seem kind of big, but it fits in the door of my fridge. They make others that are smaller, but I usually fill mine up with lettuce or mushrooms so I need all that space.

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  • McLovin June 19, 2014, 8:21 pm

    Hey neighbor. Congratulations on the new house!

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    • zombeyonce June 20, 2014, 1:03 am

      Are you in pdx, too? I wonder if enough of us are here for a meet-up…

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      • McLovin June 24, 2014, 10:52 pm

        Sorry, I just got back to this thread. Yeah, I do live in Portland. I live in the Burbs actually, but I’m downtown a lot for work so a meet up would be awesome if there’s any other locals.

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    TaraMonster June 20, 2014, 9:03 am

    I read the first Paranormal book when it came out. I really enjoyed it and lost tack of the series. Awesome. Now I have something to read for beach day this weekend! Thanks, Zombeyonce!

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    • zombeyonce June 20, 2014, 1:03 pm

      Oh man, the first one isn’t even the best. I really like where the author goes with the characters. I hope you like the rest of them.

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  • MsMisery June 20, 2014, 12:25 pm

    Zombeyonce- my acupuncturist and I share similar tastes in movies and books and he just recommended to me “Annihilation: A Novel” (by Jeff VanderMeer). It is the first of three. He’s read the first two (the last one isn’t out yet) and I put them all on my Amazon wish list. It sounds like the kind of thing you’d be into as well!

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    • zombeyonce June 20, 2014, 1:08 pm

      I’ll definitely check it out; I’m always looking for new books to read. I just finished the Legend trilogy (Marie Lu, wouldn’t recommend it as you’ve probably read the same basic book in 4 other series) and need some to get me through until my copy of the third book from the Gentleman Bastards Sequence comes out. I highly recommend that series, it’s the best thing I’ve read since A Song of Ice and Fire. I ran through the first two (huge) books in record time a couple of weeks ago because they were so amazing.
      Link to first book:

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      • nitabee June 22, 2014, 10:21 pm

        I read a ton of YA lit. I read the first book in the Legend trilogy but decided I wasn’t interested enough to keep going. Have you read/heard of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart? That’s the latest YA book I’ve read. It’s one of those books that you really should go into knowing almost nothing, and it was impossible for me to put down, I read it in a day. Do you ever frequent foreveryoungadult.com? The ladies there are really funny and there are always great recommendations.


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