From CB: My nails have been brittle and breaking so I bought the CND solar cuticle oil we talked about last week. It smells like sweet almond oil or amaretto without being perfumey and the smell doesn’t linger, which is nice. I can’t say how well it works yet but I keep it on my desk to use throughout the day. I also really love the Marc Anthony strengthening leave-in conditioner spray featured in January. It definitely conditions without weighing down my hair and seems to be reducing breakage, although I rotated in other products too so it’s hard to tell. Here are some more items I’m interested in. I’ve been buying a lot lately and need to cut down. Oh and I got the add-on bidet! I got it installed on the toilet but it leaks no matter what I do with the line. I just bought a better t-adapter and if that doesn’t work I’m going to call a plumber. Still I’m proud of myself for getting as far as I did with it.
A tea box that will look so elegant for guests
From CB: I found the perfect tea box! There were only two of these left when I bought it so I just got it for myself and didn’t feature it here. These beautiful acacia wood tea boxes are back in stock and they’re just $20. I looked through so many tea boxes and tea display caddies and they all had bad fakespot ratings. This has an acrylic lid so you and your guests can see all the tea options before opening it. For tea bags which are loose and not individually wrapped I cut the box label and put it at the front of the row. It has 4.6 stars, 63 ratings and a C from Fakespot but I’m vouching for it. People call it “a really cool tea bag dispenser” that “fits more tea than I expected… each square holds almost a full box of tea bags.” My friend said it looked restaurant quality too.
A salad kit with separate sections and an ice pack to keep everything fresh
From CB: This Rubbermaid Lunchblox salad container comes with a detachable ice pack and with different sections to keep vegetables, dressings and add-ons. It has 4.4 stars, over 800 ratings and an A on Fakespot. There are other Lunchblox sets that fit with these too, like an entree kit and a double set for sandwiches and two sides. People call the salad set the “perfect size and adaptable for more toppings” and like that it keeps all the ingredients crisp and cold. Some reviewers say it’s too small for a full size lunch salad. If you’re looking for a bigger container, this salad set by Sistema has 4.4 stars, over 1,000 ratings and a B on Fakespot. (There’s a picture of that below this post.)
A coffee pod refiller to save money with no mess
From CB: I have a Ninja hot and cold brewing system which is just a fancy coffee maker. I love it. I know a lot of people use and prefer their Keurig-type coffee makers. The single use refills can get expensive and they’re tough on the environment too. The refillable pods are a nice alternative but it can be a pain to get the coffee grounds in that small container. The Perfect Pod EZ-Scoop is an under $7 device meant to solve that issue. You fill it with coffee and it has a cover with a smaller hole that fits over it. You get the perfect amount of coffee and it goes straight into the refillable k-cup so you don’t have grounds to clean up. This has 4.5 stars, over 2,600 ratings and an A on Fakespot. People call it “genius,” “idiot proof” an “awesome gadget” and a “handy little contraption” that solves the problem of coffee grounds on the counter. There’s also a video that shows how easy it is to use.
A pimple patch hack that could save you so much money
From CB: I have been spending a lot on those Clearasil overnight pimple patches as they work and I also use them to hide blemishes during the day. I googled “pimple patch substitute” and found that the blister bandages are the same thing! Plus you can cut up the entire bandage, there’s no center part the entire bandage works like that, and in my experience they’re as effective as the hydrocolloid pimple patches. You can use a hole punch or just cut them into the right size you need. Unlike the smaller patches this lets you cover an entire problem area. I got these Bandaid Hydroseal bandages at CVS for a higher cost. You get 10 for under $5 and you can cut up each strip into so many pieces. All I do is wash my face, cut these into strips and put them on. They work just as well as the Clearasil patches at under a fifth of the cost. They are beige so you won’t want to wear them out of the house, but they help reduce and heal your pimples fast.
Travel telescoping straws are convenient and help the environment
From Hecate: As we discussed on the Hilary Duff posts from Wednesday, anything we can do to reduce trash, even recyclable trash, helps. Over the holidays, my cousin gave portable straws as wedding favors. All the out of staters were laughing them off as kooky kalifornians and they let me have theirs so now everyone in my family has at least one of these on us when we go out. We never have to use plastic straws. I like these particular ones because of the rubber tip so I don’t have to put metal on my teeth. Also, the little case catches any drips until I can get them home to wash properly. These come in eight color combos. Each has two straws, two cleaning brushes (that collapse as well), two cases with rings, if you want to put them on your key ring, and clips if you want to connect them to your purse or belt loop. They got 4.1 stars with 39 ratings and an A on Fakespot.
A six pack of reusable shopping bags to save on plastic
From Hecate: I keep two foldable shopping bags in my purse at all times because I always forget my reusable shopping bags. The storage pouch is attached to the bag so you won’t lose it. In addition to grocery and around the town shopping, these are great for traveling. They don’t take up much room in your suitcase but act as addition carry ons when you overindulge in your souvenir shopping (not that I have *ever* done that). They come in so many cute patterns and colors and are machine washable. The bags earned 4.7 stars with 1,084 ratings but only got a C on Fakespot. One reviewer said, “They hold enough groceries and there are enough bags in this batch to hold a week’s worth of groceries for my family of 4” and another confirmed, “They are easy to learn to refold & fit FLAT inside their own attached carry pouch.”
Tinted eye cream to hide dark circles and reduce fine lines
From Hecate: I have pretty serious dark circles under my eyes both from genetics and lousy sleep patterns. I was looking for a general daytime eye cream and someone directed me to this one. The tube has a metal wand where the lotion dispenses that massages the cream into your skin. I’ve noticed a real difference and even some (my kids) say I look less tired. 90 Amazon customers gave it 4 stars with a B on Fakespot. One reviewer, who called it AMAZ-BALLS!!!, said, “ This has the perfect pink tone too it to cancel out the dark circles.” And many of them talk about how great it is as a brightener.
From Hecate: Which brings us to The Book of the Month! In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m choosing a book not only written by a woman, but the story goes back and forth in history: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett.
The truth is, I would have recommended this anyway, but it fits nicely into my little tie-in there, doesn’t it? I am a big Patchett fan but a few of her books have let me down on the ending. This one ends really strong. The story is a modernized deconstruction of a fairy tale, particularly the Cinderella story. Only Patchett splits the fairy tale protagonist into two characters, both representing possible outcomes given their circumstances. And she turns the Evil Stepmother v. Sainted ‘Dead’ Mother on its ear. And at the center of everything is the castle, that sets the path for each character. Honestly, I couldn’t put this down.
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