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The Idea of You Book Review + this week’s joyful things

July 28, 2020

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In this post, I share a book review of The Idea of You, plus four joyful finds, including a kitchen gadget, an Instagram account, an Etsy print shop, and a recipe.

I’ve lost count of the exact number of weeks, but I think it’s fair to say that we are deep in this pandemic. After all of the time that has passed, and the uncertainty that lays ahead, I’ve been appreciating escapism content more than ever before.

Michelle shares a book review of The Idea of You, plus four joyful finds, including a kitchen gadget, an Instagram account, an Etsy print shop, and a recipe.

The Idea of You Book Review

I’m going to make a bold statement and say that The Idea of You, by Robinne Lee, is the ultimate escapist book. The story is about a divorced woman in her late thirties, who begins a relationship with a guy named Hayes who is twenty years her junior. He also happens to be an international pop star (a fictionalized Harry Styles).

I first heard about The Idea of You from one of my favorite podcasts, Bad on Paper. And then I heard them mention it again, and again, and again. But even with all of their praise, the description didn’t sound like a premise I would enjoy.

For the second time in two weeks, I’m here to tell you that my preconceptions about this book were completely wrong.

What I love most about The Idea of You is the protagonist, Solène. The description of the story kind of makes her sound like a trash bag. I mean, what kind of person does something like that?

But the more I read, the more I admired Solène. Not because of what she was doing but who she was. She owns an art gallery that exclusively represents women and minorities. She dresses impeccably. She takes care of herself. She is a homeowner. And also, a mother.

It’s a feminist story, without grandstanding, which is exactly my style. Solène’s empowerment is what makes this story so delicious. She’s not in the relationship because she needs to be, but because she wants to be.

What I also love about this book is the travel— something I’ve been missing greatly this year. Solène’s relationship with Hayes unfolds in locations all over the world, mostly in fancy hotels (my favorite). It left me wanting to book a trip, but also fulfilled some of my wanderlust.

The last thing I want to say about this book is that it is much racier than I was anticipating. I haven’t read 50 Shades of Gray, and I don’t read romance books, so I don’t know how it stacks up, but that part of it did catch me a little off guard.

But with that said, the writing is exceptional. It’s explicit but tasteful, and I really admire the way that Robinne Lee managed to pull that off.

If you’re feeling like you need an escape, but you’re stuck inside for the foreseeable future, this is the book for you!

Here are a few more things that are bringing me joy this week:

Michelle shares a book review of The Idea of You, plus four joyful finds, including a kitchen gadget, an Instagram account, an Etsy print shop, and a recipe.

Miroco Milk Frother

The little things are making all the difference these days. I’ve been considering purchasing one of those fancy espresso makers or Nespresso machines, but I wasn’t ready to take the plunge just yet. This milk frother is far less expensive and makes my coffee feel fancier, which is really what I’ve been craving.

I typically do 2% milk in my coffee, but for some reason, the frother makes almond milk taste extra good. Especially with a sprinkle of cinnamon!

Until I can go back to enjoying coffee shops, this little contraption is keeping me happy.

Michelle shares a book review of The Idea of You, plus four joyful finds, including a kitchen gadget, an Instagram account, an Etsy print shop, and a recipe.

Anna Kloots’ Instagram

My Instagram crush count has recently grown by one. Anna is currently abroad in France, where she shares her daily adventures in food, culture, and fashion.

Like The Idea of You, Anna’s content has been keeping me happy until I resume my own jet setting. Give her a follow, and prepare to be enchanted.

Michelle shares a book review of The Idea of You, plus four joyful finds, including a kitchen gadget, an Instagram account, an Etsy print shop, and a recipe.

Retro Beach Prints

We moved into our home almost four years ago, and most of our walls are still bare. I have such a hard time committing to artwork. But this shop has inspired me to take action.

Since we live near the beach, and I love all things from this era, these felt like the perfect fit. I was delighted to find such a great collection of inexpensive images that you can download and print on your own.

You can see the two I picked out here and here. I can’t wait to get them printed!

Michelle shares a book review of The Idea of You, plus four joyful finds, including a kitchen gadget, an Instagram account, an Etsy print shop, and a recipe.

Lasagna Roll Recipe

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen me make this meal many times over the last few months. Lasagna Rolls are easy to make, serve, and reheat— not to mention, they are delicious.

And it has just come to my attention that tomorrow (Wednesday, July 29th) is National Lasanga day. It’s an unusual time of the year to serve a warm, hearty dish, but that’s what the internet holiday people decided, and I’m here for it.

Turkey Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Makes 12 rolls

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of turkey meat sauce (recipe below) or a jar of your favorite red sauce
  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach (thaw it, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can)
  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese (you can use part-skim if you prefer)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish with sauce.
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl and mix.
  4. Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Take 1/4 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
  5. Ladle remaining sauce over the noodles and top each one with shredded mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  6. Remove foil, and switch on broiler. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until the cheese turns golden brown.
  7. Serve with extra sauce and parmesan on the side.
Turkey Meat Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes (I use Tutto Rosso with basil)
  • 16oz of ground turkey meat
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan at medium heat. Add onion and sauté until they are translucent.
  2. Add garlic to the pan and stir for about a minute.
  3. Add ground turkey meat, season with 1 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper. Sauté until the meat is cooked all the way through.
  4. Pour in crushed tomatoes, stir, cover, and simmer for at least fifteen minutes.
  5. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

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  1. Momma ???????? says:

    You don’t cease to amaze me! Thoroughly enjoyed reading this! Milk frother on my wish list ???? The lasagna rolls c’mom!!! ♥️

    Miss you more than anything, ????but happy you are immersed in endless creativity!

    • Michelle says:

      That means the most coming from the lasagna queen herself. Thanks for passing that creativity gene along. ???? I can’t wait until we can cook together again!

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