This & That: No. 168

Jul 24, 2015

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~The Improvised Life

Established in 2009 by Sally Schneider, The Improvised Life aims to offer tools and ideas for everyday challenges and offer creative solutions. With two cookbooks to her credit: The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook, the blog offers cooking ideas but so much more as well.  Whether it’s decor advice or life inspiration you are needing, her goal is to shift your thinking to realize all of the possibilities around you. This just may be your next favorite blog.


~Picnic in Provence by Elizabeth Bard

Ten years ago I was introduced to Elizabeth Bard as many readers were through her book Lunch in Paris in which she shares through stories and recipes how she met her now Parisian husband. A delightful read, so many of the recipes I had dog-eared and was eager to try. Finally, she has returned with her second book which chronicles her family’s recent move to Provence from Paris and all the recipes it brings with it. An ideal summer read.


~Giada in Italy

Having just kicked off this past Sunday, Giada de Laurentiis’ new series Giada in Italy is a feast for the eyes not only for the food, but also for the sight-seeing. Set in Positano, Italy, Giada while offering three recipes an episode also takes viewers with her to the markets, restaurants and becomes the virtual tour guide of the coastal town. Airing on the Food Network at 11am on Sundays, be sure to set your DVRs.


~Diana Vreeland Perfumes

Last year Diana Vreeland’s perfumes became available with the guidance of her grandson Alexander Vreeland, and I must say I look forward to testing them all. As you will see in the video below, he describes her as having crazy creativity and tremendous discipline. In stilling the bold, vibrant colors Diana Vreeland is synonymous with, the idea of feeling empowered is the central idea along with selecting words that she herself used. Click here for a description of each of the seven different scents, and per my preferences, Daringly Different and Perfectly Marvelous are at the top of the list to try.

~Kule stripe tops 

Yet another company has specialized in the classic French stripe top. Kule makes available long and short sleeve tops in a variety of color combinations for both men and women in very iconic cuts. A few to check out: The classic navy and cream long-sleeve top or perhaps a short sleeve or cashmere sweater in stripes.


~Last Tango in Halifax

A few years ago Sally Wainwright, created and wrote the series Last Tango in Halifax to great success. A series airing on PBS and originally on the BBC involving both comedy and drama, it involves second chances and family drama inspired from the modern world we live in. The characters are rich and real, and the story lines are anything but forced. I have truly enjoyed it each Sunday evening at 8pm. And while the third season is wrapping up on August 2nd, you can watch back episodes here and on Netflix.

capresecrostini ~recipe for Summer Tomato Crostini with Reduced Balsamic~

Yes, the glorious arrival of the weekend is just about here, and it will be a grand one, of that I have no doubt. If you’re a listener of The Simple Sophisticate podcast, the second weekly episode debuts tomorrow morning, Au Courant Weekly. Be sure to discover all of the details readers have been asking about here.

The upcoming few days off will be full of leisure, paddling, time in the kitchen, puttering at the local farmer’s market and a bit of music from a band I am anxious to listen to live. While my travel plans for the rest of the summer are rather humble, I must say, I am quite excited for the slower pace. The boys (my dogs) have been getting a lot of naps lately as we’ve been exploring all of the trails and sights that Bend has to offer, and needless to say, they (and I) are quickly exhausted but for all of the right reasons.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and perhaps you’ll join me tomorrow morning on The Simple Sophisticate. Until next time, bon weekend!

~40 Rituals That Make A Relationship Last 40+ Years

~To put on your Parisian itinerary during your next trip . . . Three Insider Coffee Addresses For Your Paris Caffeine Fix

~Those chocolate truffles that I love so much? Yep, even Timothy Egan of The New York Times thought they were pretty amazing as well. He praises my childhood hometown in a recent article here.

~Food for Thought from a young man in the Major Leagues . . . The Daniel Norris Code for Success

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3 thoughts on “This & That: No. 168

  1. Your forty for forty link is misdirecting. Looking forward to reading that. I’m in the old-fashioned position of having started dating my husband young, so I’m in my mid-thirties and coming up on our twentieth year together…

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