This & That: No. 24

Sep 11, 2012

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A few treasures I found during my stay in Manhattan as well as a new daytime talk show, free college courses open to anyone and everyone, and a book you foodies may want to take a look at . . .

~Books & Cooking

~Barefoot Contessa Book Tour in Seattle September 16th

If any of you appreciate Barefoot Contessa’s fool-proof recipes that really are as easy as she says and are as dependable as time, you’ll be excited to know she has a new cookbook coming out on October 30th. Titled Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof, she is going to be speaking and it is my understanding signing copies in advance this Sunday in Seattle at 2pm at Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street (click here for more details and prices).



While flipping through the weekly magazine The Week, I discovered an opportunity to continue to take college classes that interest me without having to pay for the tuition or the books. offers more than 121 college courses from well respected college institutions such as Penn State, Stanford and other well-known universities to people from around the world. Courses are streamed online, so you can watch the lecture when it best fits your schedule and most courses run 3-10 weeks. Peruse the selection and sign-up! My first class is Sociology 101 which begins in February, and I can’t wait to freshen up on one of my favorite subjects.


~J.Crew navy polka dot scarf – $65

I mentioned during my first day in New York City that I stopped into J.Crew. Well, with my hankering for building my scarf wardrobe, I found their scarves which are made out of soft, fine woven wool, to be $10 off the retail price (reducing the price to $55). So I picked up their navy polka version, and I love it. Paired with a navy dress or a soft winter white silk blouse, it’s a wonderful accessory for fall and winter. While I don’t usually purchase trends, I figure this scarf is a simple way of having fun with the polka dot trend of the season without spending too much.   


~Il Gattopardo – New York City

If you love Italian food and will be in New York City, I highly recommend making reservations at Il Gattopardo on West 54th street directly behind The Museum of Modern Art. Ideal for dinner or lunch, the service is spectacular and the food delicious! (Read more about my dining experience here.)


~Katie – Katie Couric’s daytime talk show on ABC

I don’t know about you, but I miss Katie Couric’s laugh and her ability to at the same time ask tough questions of guests. She was the first female anchor that I became used to watching when I’d wake up in the morning, so when she stepped down from the Today Show in 2006 (has it really been that long?), she was missed. Well, she’s back after her stint on CBS Evening News, and I think she may have found her niche. Her daytime talk show airs on ABC and just had its first episode yesterday (September 10th). Check your local listings for times, and I can say after watching the pilot show, while appearing to have some trepidation (which to me is testament to how passionate she is to what she’s doing), she came across as authentic and wholeheartedly invested in her new venture. I wish her the best of luck and much success.


~The Dry Bar

One of the luxuries I afforded myself while visiting Manhattan this past weekend were appointments at The Dry Bar in both the Flat Iron District and at Le Parker Meridien Hotel on 56th. With a simple system to book an appointment (online or using their free app), you can book an appointment for a $40 blow-out (including wash) that will be completed and leaving you looking spectacular in less than 40 minutes. Each time, the atmosphere was very welcoming as they offered you a drink of water, tea, coffee or a mimosa, and prompt service from every employee I encountered as they have a separate shampoo room prior to styling. Wi-Fi was also available. And on Saturday, upon walking out the door with my new ‘do, with the rain pouring down, they equipped me with a yellow umbrella. I couldn’t think of better walking advertisement for their business. Dry Bar locations are located throughout the United States, so be sure to check their website. And the good news, if the location isn’t in NYC, then blow-outs are only $35.

11 thoughts on “This & That: No. 24

  1. A great round up of tips. Can’t wait to see Katie’s show, I’m a fan as well. Love the dry bar concept. If you go to Seattle to see the barefoot contessa, try out SWINK style bar, our local quick blow out co., started by a friend of mine. Those online classes are interesting, good job signing up for back to school!

    1. Emily, I have heard about Swing style bar! What a small world! I actually have spoken with Natalie (haven’t met her partner yet) and look forward to meeting her one day. My experience at their style bar was absolutely wonderful. It really is a great place.

  2. I recently discovered Coursera as well, and I just started my first two courses. I love it! It’s such a fantastic idea, and I can’t believe it’s completely free.

  3. THanks for your tips on the Dry Bar. I love that they gave you an umbrella after getting your hair done. Talk about full service! I’m so happy I ran into our blog!

    1. Thrilled to have been found! I can’t recommend getting a blowout enough. So much stress at the beginning of the day or before an event is removed because you know your hair looks exactly as you want it. And the additional perk is that it lasts two or three days with a little dry shampoo. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the tip on Coursera. I’ve been wanting to refresh my language skills for a long time, but my travel schedule makes it impossible to sign up for a traditional class. Definitely checking out the online opportunity – especially if it’s free!

  5. Shannon, I love your blog and truly appreciate all of the work you put into it. You cover a wide variety of subjects, but they are all focused on making us aware of opportunies to make our lives richer, more sumptuous and beautiful. Thank you for all you give us!

  6. Hi Shannon! You write about amazing stuff here. Your blog is pretty cool with the header, too. Is that the Katie Couric show with Jessica Simpson as the guest? I can’t watch it here in the Philippines. Please continue posting, I followed your FB fan page. TC! xoxo

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