This & That: May 5, 2017

May 05, 2017

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Fréderic Fekkai, the man known for taking care of our tresses, has stepped into the beauty business with his wife Shirin, taking the reins of a 25-year old treasure in Aix-en-Provence, the Bastide beauty business. Bastide is the beauty brand somewhat similar to L’Occitane offering luxuriously simple beauty products each created from the gifts of the south of France region of Provence.  You may remember his family’s home being featured in this post, and it was upon their relocation and remodeling of the family estate that the couple decided to invest even further with the rejuvenation of Bastide. Be sure to peruse all of the offerings from lotions, body washes, bath crystals, candles and more. Available at reasonable prices and perfect for a Mother’s Day gift if you are still on the hunt.


The H Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness by Jill Filipovic

Released this past Tuesday, I was introduced to Jill Filipovic’s new book upon reading her op-ed in the newspaper this past week (see below). Contemplating the realization that it was surprising only until recently in the late twentieth century that women were openly able, as a large majority, to pursue what truly made them happy and not have to out of necessity, or out of guilt or pressure from society take on jobs and responsibilities that were merely to make ends meet. The article is worth reading to get a taste of what the book dives far deeper into. The takeaway initially for me was how fortunate I feel for having the opportunity to not adhere to rigid societal or familial restraints due to the support of laws and freedoms I have been afforded. In so knowing, it has also reaffirmed and reminded me to not rest on my laurels and assume such abilities and protections will always be granted. In other words, I was reminded to remain active, informed and to use my voice.

The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life by Lynne Twist

If you’re looking for a stronger and healthier relationship with money, no matter how much you do or don’t have, perhaps The Soul of Money is just the book for you. The author Lynne Twist was recently on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday (have a look at a clip below), and going beyond balancing the budget, she reveals how we can thrive rather than feel as though we are just surviving when it comes to our relationship with money. Have a look.

The Weekend Effect: The Life Changing Benefits of Taking Time Off and Challenging the Cult of Overwork by Katrina Onstad

Released just this past week, discover the importance of cutting off from work regularly and protecting your weekends. With time and research into companies, countries and people who resolutely protect the weekly 48 hours in order to cultivate joy, contentment, pleasure and purpose in their life, as if we needed an excuse, this book is further evidence it is absolutely necessary to strike the healthy balance between work and living well.


—Diana Krall’s Turn Up The Quiet

As mentioned in this week’s Petit Plaisir on the podcast, Diana Krall’s latest album is released today. Returning to her jazz roots, Krall covers the classics like only she can with her sultry, melodic voice and talent on the piano. Her tour is kicking on this June, first throughout the states and then heading to Europe. Have a look at the dates here.


Great News

Tina Fey’s creativity has returned to NBC. The new comedy series Great News premiered on April 25th and airs Tuesday nights at 9pm. Created by Tracey Wigfield who wrote for 30 Rock and Kimmy Schmidt, and produced by Tina Fey, critics are quite pleased with the comedic chops of the cast. Centered around a news producer (Briga Heelan) who hires her mother (Andrea Martin from My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame and much more) as an intern at the station, the comedy flows from what one can only assume would be an awkward, hysterical situation. Have a look at the trailer below and read more about the series here.


~how to build a crostini station to make your mouth water~

As I type, my eyes are about to wig out as this past week is the annual week of extensive grading as my students gear up for their AP exam. However, as the students have worked tirelessly the entire year, their effort is the motivation to power through scoring their end of the year final assessment. Needless to say, I am exhausted, mentally so, which is why on Wednesday with the temperatures reaching ideal numbers (seventies), I made the short trip to the river with my paddle board and went for an escape for the mind on the water. It was lovely. And as hoped, the beauty of the outdoors was the precise fuel for finishing yesterday’s final bunch of papers. Which means the arrival of this first weekend of May is sweet.

I do hope your first work week in May went well. Below are a more than few articles I think you will enjoy: some food-related, some political, some regarding current news in the publishing world and just some worthwhile thought-provoking reads to live your best life. Until Monday, bonne journée!

~Looking for a classic scone recipe for the weekend . . . wait for it . . . from Mark Bittman? Check this one out.

~Or maybe you’re in the mood for Restaurant-Worthy French Toast

~So the relationships we have with our smart phones: Most of us know we need to reduce our time, but how??? Read this article – Phones We Love Too Much

~Yep, it’s happening! GOOP will soon be a quarterly magazine as Gwyneth and Anna (Wintour) are teaming up. Stay tuned!

~More inspiration to meditate daily, even if for 5-10 minutes. Discover what this yogi found out after just a week of daily mediation practice.

~An interesting read to understand the media bubble and how it came to be. Awareness is key.

~From now on, I am only buying organic strawberries. 11 Things to Always Buy Organic

~10 Mistakes Smart People Never Make Twice . . . we all want to be the smart people!

8 thoughts on “This & That: May 5, 2017

  1. Re protecting weekends, since Jan. 1, a French law protects workers’ right to disconnect from emails and other technology. They do the work-life balance well here.

  2. The Ten Mistakes Smart People Never Do can be used and adhered to when planning a major renovation. Plan the work and work the Plan! Thanks for the clear reminder and Bon Weekend!-Laurel Bledsoe

  3. ‘May’ seems lovely thus far. It is nice that you are employed professional with time to blog and keep the world abreast all things doing within your life. Thank you for sharing and lovely weekend to all.

  4. Am looking forward so much to receiving the new Diana Krall. Am I alone in noticing the resemblance between yourself and Diana? Best wishes for a relaxing weekend. Sue

  5. FYI…The fabulous mustard people at Maille ( are having a 20% off promotion now through May 14 / Mother’s Day (US) and free shipping for orders over $80 USD. (This may be a US only promotion.) Since I live in an area that doesn’t have access to the specialty / limited addition Maille mustards, I took the opportunity to strategically splurge. Thank you, Shannon, for highlighting this lovely product to a heretofore non-mustard person. ?

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