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This week we've rounded up our top 6 recommendations from the past 6 months to give you our first ever BEST OF edition! Each one has been chosen based on the feedback of our readers, and we think we have a pretty solid list- enjoy!

TO MAKE (May): These black beans from Veggie Chick have become a weekly staple. Spoon some over tacos, use as filler for enchiladas, or add to taco bowls. I make them in the pressure cooker, but 4 hours on high in the slow cooker is all it takes. They taste SO much better than the canned stuff.

TO WEAR (Caroline): If you’ve seen me in the last year, I’ve probably been wearing some version of this. The shapeless romper is the over-sized t-shirt for adult women. It does a charming job of hiding the ten pounds I’ve gained since getting married, and it’s so nice and breezy for the hot, hot New Mexican sun. Get ready to never want to take it off. (Update: At time of publication UO has it on sale!)

TO TRY (May): Everyone’s got super strong opinions about mascara. I for one, need all the help I can get with my short and stubby lashes. I’ve tried all the fancy brands, but this one is still one of the best I’ve tried. It lasts all day, comes in a waterproof formula, and gives fake-eyelash-level volume and length. To maximize its fullest potential, apply one coat as you normally would, then do a second coat on top of the lash, rotating the brush wand as you apply (like this).

TO TRY (Caroline): Hear me out. For years I’ve heard here and there about women who shave their face. Apparently, there are innumerable amounts of reasons besides unwanted facial hair, but I was sold on it by my 72-year-old aunt who has the dewey, flawless skin of a 15-year-old. She told me she has shaved her face everyday since she was a teenager. I finally tried it, and it looks/feels phenomenal. This helpful article outlines the hows and whys with all the needed instruction.

TO MAKE (May): My restaurant pizza experiences as of late have involved dipping my slices in a $6 vat of piping hot marinara studded with garlic and parmesan. Each time I’d think… “I need this recipe, but they probably used some Sicilian recipe passed only through bloodlines that I’ll never be able to find or duplicate.” Well, I FOUND IT. If ever there were a way I could make words jump off a page ala the howlers in Harry Potter (albeit happier, more excitedly), this would be it. Make this marinara sauce! It has a simple ingredient list, takes 25 minutes from start to finish, and (for those that are dirty-dish averse) will only use one pot, a cutting board, and knife. If you’re not convinced, perhaps the 2,000 five-star reviews will sway you. Here’s the original NYT recipe link, and another that avoids the paywall. This sauce is not just destined for bites of pizza- I have grand plans to use it with spaghetti and meatballs, calzones, or spaghetti squash.

TO TRAVEL (Caroline): One of my self-given titles is “expert packer”. I’ve traveled a ton since college, so I’ve become a savant at knowing what to take and what to leave behind. (I once packed for a week in Greece in a what was basically a large purse.) [May’s note: this really did happen, and I was mostly concerned, but then very impressed.] Besides being a textbook under-packer, my other secret is packing cubes. I’ve had a version of these for seven years now and they have served me very well. It is remarkable how much stuff can fit in them. They have often been the difference between a checked bag and a carry-on.

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