Dear 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.
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).
“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.
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]
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.
Progressive 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.
If you have some products you’d like to recommend to the DW audience, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.