This & That: No. 78

Oct 01, 2013

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Books to entertain and inspire, a French foodie film to delight in, feel-good fashion and a premiere worth waiting for.


1. Blowback (A Vanessa Pierson Novel) by Valerie Plame

Former CIA agent Valerie Plame, who came to the public’s attention during the now infamous Scooter Libby trial, has penned her first fictional thriller – Blowback. Based on her experience in the field, the heroine Vanessa Pierson closes in on the most dangerous international nuclear weapons dealer. Readers are taken to Washington D.C. and the Near East with vivid specific detail that look certain to entertain.

2. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

A weekly television that I have recently begun to enjoy on leisurely weekends is Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays. Much like the aha moment driven interviews that were a favorite on her talk show, these weekly interviews with different people each week are full of inspiration.

This past Sunday, Steven Pressfield sate down with Oprah in Maui to discuss his highly successful book The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles that was published back in January 2012.

Noting that we are all artists and we all have a calling, he reveals the idea of resistance being something that is always present when we wish to change something about our lives. And in so informing his readers, offers tools and understanding about how to face the resistance rather than yield to it.


3. Haute Cuisine

Based on actual events, Haute Cuisine takes viewers behind the doors of the Élysée Palace and into the world of former French President François Mitterrand’s (1981-1995) private chef Danièle Mazet-Delpeuch. The actress Catherine Frot plays Delpeuch (whose name is changed to Hortense Laborie in the film) and is the talent in which the film is focused upon to reveal the bond that is created between the two. What a delicious and intriguing film to watch for foodies and Francophiles, and one that is on my list to view. (Just released in the states this September.)


4. Cuyana leather tote

Meaning “to love”, Cuyana is a company focused on offering quality products that will last long after the trend has passed. And it is their leather totes that are customer favorites. Made in Argentina out of 100% local leather, these regular or tall totes are available in a handful of colors that will take you to the office or the weekend away. Priced at $150, it is a wonderful price for an item that will last for years.

5. Level 99 jeans (Lily Skinny Straight jeans)

The eco-friendly driven denim company Level 99 has dedicated itself to chemical free washing techniques and sustainably harvested fibers as it sets out to create jeans for women that fit perfectly, understand a woman’s body and aren’t priced outrageously. Priced between $100 and $170, jeans of all styles, colors and textures are available and have found a celebrity following as well with Cameron Diaz, Jessica Biel and Sarah Jessica Parker. I must admit, I am curious to give them a try.


6. Scandal Season 3 Premiere “It’s Handled”

While Breaking Bad fans may be in mourning as the series finale wrapped up on Sunday, patient fans of Olivia Pope and her gladiators are most likely relieved for the season premiere of Scandal this Thursday (October 3rd). With Lisa Kudrow taking a reoccurring role this season as a politician and mayhem unfolding after last spring’s season finale, the first episode looks to be thrilling.

If you were like me, you may have become interested in the series just last year and missed the first season. Out of curiosity and also wanting a taste of the series while I waited for the third season to begin, I did a marathon viewing session on my iPad over vacation this summer and temporarily quenched my need for a bit of scandal. For only $10, you can stream Season 1 on your tablet if you too need to catch up.

3 thoughts on “This & That: No. 78

  1. I too am enjoying Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays! I need to add The War of Art to my “to read” list. And I too just started watching Scandal at the end of this last season as well. I was happy to catch up on it over the summer as well. Looking forward to the new season.
    Cheers Shannon 🙂

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