This & That: No. 212

Jun 03, 2016

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At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, et al by Sarah Bakewell

In 2010, Sarah Bakewell released her well-received How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne and made her mark diving into French philosophers and asking the question, “How to Live Well?”. Therefore, it was with great anticipation that her new book At the Existentialist Café was released earlier this year. A historical account of Paris in 1933, she invites us to join the Sartre, Beauvoir and Raymond Aron at Bec-de-Gaz bar as they dive into philosophical questions that will start a movement. Discussions on anti-colonialism, authenticity, freedom, feminism, gay rights and global responsibility are the topic of discourse. Pick up this book and be reminded of the many parallels arising today in the 21st century.


Hampson Woods Cutting Boards

A pleasure not only to look at but to work with as well, Hampson Woods, based in Hackney, east of London, offers a variety of sizes and finishes for your cutting board needs. And the wood used is only chosen if its provenance is known. Sustainability and environmentally friendly is a founding principle of Hampson Woods.

Now you may be thinking, why does my cutting board need to be chic? Well, it absolutely does not, but perhaps you need an additional cutting board as I realized recently as someone pointed out the idea of reserving a small cutting board to only cut garlic and onions on and larger cutting boards for other items as to separate the scent. An idea I had never thought about! And so then why not purchase a cutting board that was easy to grasp and delightful to look at? Shop the entire selection here.


West Elm Salvaged Wood Floating Shelves

If you are looking to redecorate this summer or simply want to change up your wall decor, why not incorporate floating shelves? And why not step away from the traditional go-tos black or white and choose salvaged wood? West Elm offers a couple of sizes and designs. Have a look here.

Francophile Find

The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed by Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoit Nadeau

With the authors of recently released Francophile How-To – The Bonjour Effect, Barlow and Nadeau, having traveled back and forth to Paris for an entire decade and for periods living there as well, they now want to share what they have discovered about the beloved French language and culture. Differentiating between communicating and conversing, they shine a spotlight on the purpose of language and how it is used. All the while enticing each of us to hop on the next plane to France as soon as possible.


Nordstrom’s Half-Yearly Sale

Through June 5th, take advantage of steep discounts at Nordstrom, up to 40%. Below are a few items I have hand-picked, but you can start here and go where you please.



Doctor Thorne

If you are missing Downton Abbey, or simply want to discover a new series that takes viewers back into the 19th century, Julian Fellowes has a new series on Amazon: Doctor Thorne. The first season, all four episodes, is available to be viewed now. What’s it about?

Doctor Thorne lives a seemingly comfortable, quiet life with his niece Mary in Greshambury, home to the wealthy Gresham family. However, the money is no longer offering the security they have come to know. The matriarch of the estate devises a plan to keep the family afloat, but arranged marriages and the heart’s desires don’t always align. Below is a trailer. I think you will enjoy.



~the recipe for a Summer Berry Galette~

In 2009 photographer Arthur Elgort captured the image above of Karlie Kloss and tennis star Gaël Monfils at Brasserie Lipp in Paris for the October Vogue issue, and as the finals of the French Open set in Paris will take place this weekend, if the rain relents (did you know the Louvre closed down yesterday and will remained closed today as the Seine has reached the height of 13′), I find myself eager to watch. Perhaps yes, with a croissant and French tea in the morning. Why not dive into to my French predilection? While, yes, primarily I will be watching for the tennis, there is something simply wonderful watching Paris enjoy daily moments even if I cannot be there. Odd, perhaps, but a simple pleasure of mine nonetheless.

And since I will be enjoying the tennis play from afar, that means a full weekend is at hand. With details in my own living room coming together, a quick stop at the nursery to pick up a few more herbs for the garden and perhaps a paddle or two on the river with the boys, the weekend looks to be simple and lovely.

Wishing you a rejuvenating weekend as well. May you find comfort, pleasure and peace of mind in whatever calls your name. Thank you for stopping by, and until Monday bonne journée.

~Take a tour of a beauty of a home in Washington D.C. here.

~The necessity of acknowledging your full potential today.

~My new favorite blog! Full of stylish small DIY style, entertaining and dogs! Thank you Michelle for the recommendation.

~A few weeks ago, I shared this shot on my Instagram. Now you can peruse all of the articles in The France Issue here. 

~And it is summer, well nearly, so that means rosé wine is a go-to choice. Check out “Your Next Lesson: Rosé from Provence” as featured in The New York Times.



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4 thoughts on “This & That: No. 212

  1. Lots of great reading for the weekend here thank you and Dr Thorne, I shall try and remind myself to watch this in the autumn when the nights are longer and we have lit the fire once again, but for now we welcome the long summer evenings spent outdoors.

  2. Thanks for the recommendations, I’ve never heard of Bakewell before, but after this write-up I am rather intrigued. I’ve read a lot of the existentialists in earlier years, so this should be right up my alley. And Dr Thorne looks rather good as well. Summer entertainment sorted!

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