This & That: August 12, 2016

Aug 12, 2016

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The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starboard

A better brain, a better and more effective way of thinking is possible; it is just a matter of knowing the strategies that work and incorporating them into your daily life through practice. The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking offers stories, methods and action items that will bring more creative ideas and help you realize what you may have thought was not possible.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi

Published more than 10 years ago, Flow continues to be a book recommended by life-coaches and book critics as it reveals how incorporating more “flow” into our daily lives (flow is defined as a period in which “people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life”) can improve the overall quality of our lives and deepen the quality of true contentment experienced.

Living Alone and Loving It by Barbara Feldon

Written by successful actress Barbara Feldon who early in her adult years was married and then divorced, as well as later being involved in a long-term relationship which then ended in 1979, she is now living in New York City and actively writes, but no longer acts. Her book Living Alone and Loving It (2003) is a testament to living life on your own terms. A lovely book from a successful and content women living a life she loves.


The Art of French Baking by Ginette Mathiot

Originally released in 1938 and titled Je Sais Faire la Patisserie, The Art of French Baking is the English translation of Ginette Mathiot’s guide for success with French baking classics. Mathiot passed away in 1998 but was highly-respected by her country, receiving the National Order of the Legion of Honor. With many cookbooks to her name, her story is fascinating and I encourage you to read more here.  Released more than a handful of years ago, this is a staple for the lover of French pastries. Translated by Chocolate & Zucchini blogger Clotilde Dusoulier into English, this cookbook includes 350 recipes that are simple and classic. Including as well a list of detailed equipment and basic skills you will need as well as information explaining why perhaps mistakes have been made.

Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes, A Cook’s Manifesto by Michael Ruhlman

I recently heard about this cookbook from a friend, and upon looking more closely at it, instantly discovered why she was so intrigued. A game-changer in the kitchen and a must-have for any cook who asks the question Why?. After all, it is when we understand that we can expand and become even more proficient. After decades in the kitchen with top chefs, Ruhlman (an acclaimed writer and culinary authority in his own right), breaks it down into 20 simple ideas that deal with the essentials: when to salt the water and why, the ratio of liquids to acquire the desired result and much, much more. Filled with recipes and images galore, even respected chefs have recommended this book as a must-have. Check out Michael Ruhlman’s blog here to become better acquainted with his expertise.

The Everyday Baker: Recipes and Techniques for Foolproof Baking by Abigail Johnson Dodge

Abigail Johnson Dodge is an award-winning baker and a nominee for a James Beard award for baking. In her new cookbook The Everyday Baker which was released in December 2015, she offers a wealth of a resource for anyone who loves or especially lives for baking. Having had the opportunity to pour through this cookbook at home, I can attest the full-color images (more than 1000) visually demonstrating how to knead, roll, cut, etc. are very helpful. The more than 170 recipes classic waffles to baked double chocolate donuts, as well as savory quiches, scones, galettes, tarts, the list goes on and on, will tempt you and teach you, and most certainly leave you satiated and more proficient in the kitchen. Beginning with a detailed list of supplies to have in your kitchen as well as which foods to always have on hand including detailed explanations, this cookbook is a dream for someone who adores baking. So be sure to pick one up for yourself or give as a gift. (And if you are someone who loves to bake but doesn’t have the time, check out her previous cookbook The Weekend Baker.)



A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to enjoy a Farm to Table evening, and it was an evening I won’t soon forget. So when Farm-2-Fork reached out to me and shared their upcoming event in The Dalles, Oregon, situated on the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, I wanted to share with my local readers.

The event will take place on Saturday August 27th and each seat is $100. This is the second annual “Farm to Fork Progressive Food, Art and Wine Dinner” with the goal of connecting guests with the food they love cultivated from the Autumn Harvest in their local area. There will be six-courses paired with wine and each dish will be prepared by local chefs Mark Linebarger and Tamara Huffman. There are only 50 seats available, so be sure to check out how you can reserve your seat here.


Florence Foster Jenkins

Finally, the film I have been eager to see. Meryl Streep stars as a New York City socialite and philanthropist, but for the purposes of this film, Florence Foster Jenkins, it is her passion as an amateur operatic soprano that prompted the film. Hugh Grant plays her husband Frank, and The Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg plays the role of Cosmé McMoon, a Mexican-American pianist and composer who became best known as Foster Jenkins’  accompanist. Interestingly enough, last year a film titled Marguerite was released in France which was also inspired by Florence Foster Jenkins. Either film you watch, rest-assured it is full of comedy, full of love and affection and looks to be a delightfully good time at the theater. Enjoy!

~As recommended by a reader in the comments below, take a listen to Meryl Streep’s interview with Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross here.


Barney’s Striped Cashmere sweater (fall collection)

Fall collections are beginning to be released, and this cashmere striped sweater at Barney’s caught my attention as it isn’t the classic navy and ivory, but multi-hued and classically tailored. Wear casually with denim or with flattering trousers or a skirt. This is a sweater to add to the fall capsule wardrobe. 

—The Shirt Company

I want to thank TSLL reader Sue for bringing The Shirt Company to my attention. Making available a variety of styles, cuts, collars and options for the classic white shirt that is a staple in the wardrobe, The Shirt Company’s prices are reasonable as well. With international shipping available no matter where you might live, take a moment to bookmark this website. The Colleen is the classic white shirt they have available (see above) and the Freida is a oversized boyfriend style that caught my eye and was featured in this week’s Outfit of the Week post.



~recipe for Blackberry Lavender White Chocolate Scones~

A simple week. A week of rest. A week of routine. A week of much Olympic viewing. An ideal summer week. Already August has flown into high gear, but not without being absolutely lovely. The swan song of summer in many ways, it reminds us to savor ever more the warmth, the freedom and the beauty that this leisurely time period of our yearly schedule provides.

I hope your week has gone well. Simply based on the image above, you can probably guess that I am always dreaming of France. As well, I am always working on learning more, little by little of the French language, as well as incorporating the beloved simple touches of the culture into my everyday routine. It truly makes no difference where our address and zip code may find us; more importantly, it is our state of mind, non? Below are a few articles and posts you might enjoy. Until Monday, bonne journée!

~Take a tour of the Loire Valley and the grounds of one of the many stunning chateaus I had the opportunity to visit years ago, Château de Chenonceau

~Planning a trip? Want to perfect your travel experience no matter where you go? Read these travel tips: The Ultimate Guide to Travelers

~Madame or Mademoiselle??? An intriguing conversation from a handful of women who have lived, worked or traveled to France.

~Dreaming of Napa Valley and all of that wine? Food & Wine offers up their list of the Best Napa Valley Wineries.

~On a bit more serious note: What is the truth regarding the gender wage gap? This article breaks it down very nicely.

~Could it really be this simple? 10 Words Smart People Always Use (and 7 They Never Do) Perhaps, an intriguing list that reveals a common difference.

~Another intriguing difference: Average People Are Productive, Successful People Are Learners

~One more about what to avoid: 9 Toxic Mental Habits That the Most Emotionally Intelligent People Avoid

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8 thoughts on “This & That: August 12, 2016

  1. AGENT 99 WROTE A BOOK? I must get it. Oh Max!
    Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air did a great interview with Meryl Streep about this movie and singing. Fascinating. You will love Meryl more than ever.
    The Mlle/Mme post is funny. I got called mademoiselle until I was 45. The French gallantly err on the side of caution.

  2. HI Sharon,

    I have been studying French for three years now and one website I find really helpful is Lawless French – check it out!

  3. Just wanted to let you know that your link for the Food & Wine list is a duplicate of the HiP Paris Blog link.

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