Picks of the Week № 49 📍

Hello, week № 49! It’s just not quite December until I get a lingering cold, so…HELLO DECEMBER MUCOUS. This week’s first pick is over-the-counter generic decongestants, and my second pick is the humble simmer pot. Once I could better breathe I was able to appreciate and pick a surprising budget wine, a unique museum, and snuggly textiles.

If the weather is cool and you’re not feeling 100 percent, this post is for you! But you’re still welcome if you’re in good health too.

Picks of the Week, № 49. #FiveFaves #PicksoftheWeek

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links; I may earn a tiny commission from purchases.

Here are my five favorites this week:

  • Decongestants
  • Simmer pots
  • Apple pie wine
  • Esse purse museum
  • West Elm blankets

Sometimes generic over the counter (OTC) medicines work better than the name brand.

Quick write up here. When my cold hit I reached immediately for the pseudoephedrine before bed. The next morning (in a blurry state) I grabbed the generic instead…and realized that I was me again -if only for six hours- but what an amazing six hours! I could mostly breathe, and was generally clear-headed. As a quick test I took the name brand again, and the improvement was minimal.

While overall health is definitely preferred, feeling better while saving money isn’t bad. I subscribe to these Phenylephrine HCl tablets with Amazon Subscribe & Save, but more stores offer product subscriptions if you want to shop around. When I have used half of the tablets I make sure that a replacement box comes in my next subscription shipment, this way I never run out. Having what you need when you need it is the best form of adulting that I have managed to maintain.

I love simmer pots because they make your home smell nice while gently increasing humidity.

Picks of the Week, № 49 is about some things that perk me up when it's cold outside. #picksoftheweek #ladyjupiter

I was surprised that Mister Jupiter wasn’t familiar with them, but honestly I generally associated potpourri with sweet old grannies. Potpourri is dried stuff that looks pretty in a bowl while adding fragrance to your home. A simmer pot also adds fragrance, but uses heat and water to do so. It’s simply a more youthful application of potpourri…at least it seems less old fashioned because I picked this up from Pinterest versus any family elders.

I use the slow cooker function on my Instant Pot, but I could use a slow cooker, or a pot on the stove turned on low heat. I prefer Instant Pot because it gets hot faster than my slow cooker (and stays hotter too – so much that I can always see water vapor).

Q. But why?
A. Because my sinuses suffer in the winter. I can help my face while making my house smell nice (with natural food) all day.

favorite simmer pot is orange and clove

I walk by the simmer pot many times a day, and most times I stop and inhale the vapor through my nose. I snort the water vapor until my face is clearly wet. Then I pat my face dry with a clean hand towel, and add more spices if needed. My favorite simmer pot is orange and clove. But I have been known to simmer lemons (with rosemary and vanilla extract), apples (with cinnamon sticks), or plain spices with a few drops of essential oils. My goal is to cozy-up the house every cold weekend with a simmer pot from now until forever. It smells great, and my sinuses love it.

It’s no secret that I love wine, and I will be so sad when it is no longer seasonally available at my favorite grocery store.

This is a simple tale. I was grabbing some post-Thanksgiving produce and saw this apple pie wine displayed between apples and nuts. It was under $10, so I grabbed a bottle for fun and resumed grocery shopping.

I opened it up a week later, and have been loving it since! It is simply wine that honestly tastes like apple pie. It is crisp, warmly cinnamon-ny, barely sweet, and keeps me coming back. I pick up a bottle most weeks that I buy groceries (especially true when shopping in-store instead of curbside pickup shopping). Thank you for the flavorful sips, Oliver Winery & Vineyards.

This one is just fun, it’s great for purse lovers and museum lovers.

Picks of the Week, № 49 is about some things that perk me up when it's cold outside. #picksoftheweek #ladyjupiter

take you on a delightful feminist journey

ESSE Purse Museum is one of two purse museums in the world, and is in Little Rock, Arkansas. It’s one woman’s collection, and it is astounding. Purses and their contents are displayed by decade, and the descriptive placards take you on a delightful feminist journey. The museum also houses the most eclectic gift shop ever because it is full of unique purses. Want to see the shop but you can’t make it to Central Arkansas soon? I understand, and so do they. Get your credit card ready; here’s ESSE’s online gift shop. Purses, wallets, jewelry, books, and so much more!

I visit every few months; certainly when we have visitors in the Jupiter House. First time visitors love it, and return guests love going back. One of my sisters has already requested that all of her future gifts come from that shop – it’s a request I gladly fulfill.

This pick was almost its own post entirely because I am so pleased with West Elm’s customer service.

I bought some 100 percent acrylic throw blankets from West Elm, and loved looking that them. These throws shed on E V E R Y T H I N G. So I gave them a gentle wash, hoping that the wash and dry would tighten up loose fibers, or remove loose fibers entirely…but no luck. The shedding was so bad that I was washing them twice each weekend and still finding no improvement. Fibers were seriously everywhere so I bagged them up to deal with later.

“…363 days after”

I finally emailed West Elm’s customer service…363 days after the initial purchase. I asked if I could send the throws back to them for recycling because I honestly don’t want a living being to deal with the unending shedding. I got a reply back within an hour. Not only did they supply a shipping label back to them, they also issued a full refund. Amazing! I didn’t ask for those things, but I gladly accepted them.

So I sent the blankets back, and about a week later I had my refund in-hand. Without hesitation I bought two different throw blankets from West Elm; one knit cotton, and one chenille (handy links below!). They already are everyone’s new favorites – humans and dogs alike.

Picks of the Week, № 49 is about some things that perk me up when it's cold outside. #picksoftheweek #ladyjupiter

If you too are upset about a very sheddy 100 percent acrylic colorblock basketweave throw blanket – seriously talk to West Elm, and be nice. I have no idea how often West Elm is able to stand behind their products like they did with me, but I am certain that I wasn’t the first and I won’t be the last.

So if you’re looking for a gorgeous chunky throw that will never be touched I wholly recommend the basketweave throw! But if you want touchable, and snuggly, I recommend the cotton knit and the luxe chenille throws instead.

Curious about more picks? Try these on.

Picks of the Week, № 51. #FiveFaves #PicksoftheWeek  Week № 35 turns inward and looks at my pantry! When you don't leave the house much, I need to spark joy indoors, and what better way than with food?! #foodie #picksoftheweek #ladyjupiter  Picks of the Week, № 7. Toddler picks! These are my son's favorites. #LENTILS #books #plushmat

Picks of the Week, № 49 #FiveFaves #simmerpots  Picks of the Week, № 49 is about some things that perk me up when it's cold outside. #picksoftheweek #ladyjupiter

Author: Tracey

Tracey has a bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She loves editing, riding bikes, and cooking for her family.

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