This & That: December 16, 2016

Dec 16, 2016

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The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai LamaDesmond Tutu, and Douglas Carlton Abrams

A best-seller the moment it became available, two well-known, Nobel Peace Prize winning, beloved and revered spiritual icons sit down for five days and discuss just one question: How do we find joy in the fact of life’s inevitable suffering? The book is the transcript of all that was covered and shared through the stories they told, the experiences they revealed and the wisdom they shared. I cannot think of a better time to read such a topical book. Perhaps a stocking stuffer for the book-lover, introspective, determined-to-improve-the-world individual on your list.

The New Garconne: How to Be a Modern Gentlewoman by Navaz Batliwalla

Jenna Lyons, Katherine Hepburn, Ines de la Fressange. Spotlighting the mixing of feminine and masculine style items to cultivate a modern, independent and stylish woman, released just last month, the book is full of profiles on women in the world of style who fit the definition of the “modern gentlewoman”, as well as tips on how to achieve the style and imagery to offer page after page of style inspiration.

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Perhaps you’ve tuned into or heard about the eponymously named Tim Ferriss’ podcast, but even if you haven’t (like myself), what he offers in his new book (released December 6th) are the insights shared on each episode from the myriad of wide-ranging guests who have dropped in to impart their lesions achieved through experience. With one to two hour interviews, Ferriss continues to ask for specific actionable tips from each guest about how they found or attained success. If you have ever been curious about how “they” do it, this may just be a book for you.


—The Present

Cate Blanchett stars in the Broadway play The Present which was adapted by her husband, Andrew Upton. Based on an early, untitled play of four acts by Anton Chekhov in 1878, its arrival on Broadway invites both Blanchett and her co-star Richard Roxburgh’s to their debut on the big white way. Blanchett’s role takes the place of the original male Don Juan protagonist (Platonov), and as her husband shares in an interview with Porter magazine, he felt in the original play “the female roles were quite weak”, so in his version “Platonov is in his late forties, past his heyday, and Anna Petrovna (played by Blanchett) becomes central”.

The entire play evolves over the course of a weekend of celebration of Petrovna’s 40th birthday. All of the men that adored her when she was 20 and married to a general return to celebrate with her as her husband is now deceased and the passion and comedy come alive. Previews begin Saturday December 17th and the play runs for only 13 weeks. If you happen to be in New York City over the course of the next three months, be sure to catch this play. If I could attend, I would.


Astier de Villatte candles

The scents of Paris, of Broadway, of Alger, Naples and many other real and imaginary destinations, come to life in French home decor brand Astier de Villatte’s candles. Twice the size of the classic tabletop candle (such as Diptique), as you can see below they are simple, but elegant and my new favorite brand of candles for the home. Peruse the entire selection here, and perhaps for a holiday gift or for yourself, purchase a touch of luxury.

Francophile Find

The Parisian Diet: How to Reach Your Right Weight and Stay There by Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen

An older book that is worth taking a look at, one of France’s leading nutritionists, Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen reveals a diet plan and approach that assists in reaching an ideal weight without feeling deprived from eating well. With a three-prong approach (more than 300 recipes, helpful hints and checklists), the approach looks to be practical and doable.


Theory Wool-Cashmere Trench Coat (40% off)

Earlier in the weekly Style Inspiration post, coats were the focal point and readers were curious about where to find more camel trench coats, and I found one more I think you will love, as well, at a price not to miss. Theory just reduced the price of their wool-cashmere trench coat in palomino and grey by 40%. Still available in medium and large sizes, I could not recommend making this investment more highly if you’re in the market for this color and style. Theory is my go-to for the investment basics (blazers and silk blouses), and what a simple, classic piece this would be in a winter capsule wardrobe, no?

~recipe for Fresh Caprese Salad with a Twist~

Winter has truly arrived, and on Wednesday for nearly 24 hours the snow did not relent. As I look out on my driveway after having shoveled it four different times and seeing my dogs toddle out to their backyard through a tunnel of snow that is more than six inches higher than they are, I am reminded that Bend is indeed a town for winter enthusiasts. And I would definitely count myself amongst this group. No, I am not an alpine skier or someone who even likes to get cold, but I am not afraid to drive and explore amongst the piles of white powder.

During Wednesday’s deluge, the boys and I went out to a nearby trail and slowly made the first path with nordic skis along the two mile loop. The snow fluttered about and Norman bounded from side to side while Oscar dutifully trotted behind in the freshly made tracks stopping only to sniff here and there. Needless to say, it was magical and something that doesn’t happen in such calm severity as it did this week.

I hope the middle of December finds you well and gearing up for the holidays. Having just wrapped up my holiday shopping, now is the time to just savor, relax and light a crackling fire (or watch Netflix’s Birchwood Crackling Fire film). Below are a few articles that I think you will enjoy. Until Monday, happy weekend!

~Habitually Chic shared a beautiful home featured in Architectural Digest and I am agog over the master bath. Trust me, it’s worth taking a look.

~A wonderful, thoughtful and worth-reading list featured in The New York Times, Nine Ways to Improve Your Love Life (whether you are in a relationship or not)

~For fellow list-lovers! A list of the 26 lists you should definitely make!

~3 Important Life Skills Nobody Ever Taught You

~A simple approach to better health and longevity

~Mark Twain is a man of aphorisms and these nine offer tips on how to live a good life

~Say it’s not so! Why French Women are Giving up Pastries and Cheese

~10 Things Foreigners Should Know About France . . . first things first, it’s not all about Paris.

~From two of my favorite on-line life coaches . . . 3 Powerful Rituals for Building New, Healthy Relationships

9 thoughts on “This & That: December 16, 2016

  1. Requested The Book of Joy from my local library and looking forward to reading it over the holiday break. Thank you! And I love your blog too!

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