This & That: April 20, 2018

Apr 20, 2018

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The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl

Last weekend I came across author Patricia Hampl’s excerpt in The New York Times regarding how we should go about spending our days as exemplified by lovers of leisure and solitude throughout history, and I quickly looked up her book that was just released April 17. The primary muse for her travelogue of sorts is Michel Montaigne who situated himself in Bordeaux, in a chateau tower no less, and wrote his days away sharing whatever his mind entertained. However, she includes a variety of other individuals from around the globe, sharing her own journey as well, and comes to find that it is only through leisure that our minds can truly wander and get lost, which is an integral part of being human.

Less: A Novel by Andrew Sean Greer

The winners of the annual Pulitzer Prizes (21) were announced this past Monday, and the winner of fiction is a brilliant satire of an American traveling abroad. If you love travel in any capacity, the protagonist Arthur Less, a gay man who encounters near death in Berlin, nearly falling in love in Paris and accidentally enrolling in a Christian retreat in India, will delight and remind us all of the challenges, yet ultimate unexpected and amazing discoveries we make along our travels that can often be realized nowhere else. Turning fifty along his journey, the publisher describes the novel as a love story, and while I have yet to read the novel (it is now on my wishlist), I have a feeling it will be a love story of life, of oneself and with the world.

Francophile find

My Stylish French Box, May Delivery is Coming!

Sharon Santoni of My French Country Home blog and books (listen to my interviews with the author/blogger in episode #168 and episode #96) is just about ready to send out her May box full of French finds (spring – a new box is sent out each season), so if you have yet to subscribe to the single or seasonal subscription, be sure to do so soon! I too will be receiving one, and I cannot wait to see what will be inside. You can learn more here about what each box includes, how often they are shipped and how you can give one as a gift. Having received her summer in Provence box last year, I can attest, she spoils her customers (see what was inside here).

Victoria magazine French Issue May/June 2018 

I recently began subscribing to Victoria magazine which offers seven issues each year for $18, and I am extremely excited for the most recent issue to arrive.  It is their French issue, as seen at the top of the post, and includes a tour of the home of the woman who created My Stylish French Box, Sharon Santoni! Enjoy images of her garden, French country home and much more.


The Hot Sardines in Portland and Vancouver

Yet another Francophile find, but for my jazz lovers too, Elizabeth Bougerol, the lead singer of The Hot Sardines (you can listen to my interview with her here in episode #157) is coming to Oregon and Vancouver, Canada, next week and weekend! Oh my goodness, when I heard this news, I started to tap dance, and I don’t even know how to tap dance (so I am not sure what I was doing). And what makes these performances so special is that they will be playing with the local symphony. Have a glimpse of what that might sound like here on their Instagram page.

Remember this song, “Wake Up in Paris“? Yep, that is their song, and they also perform songs in French. So much goodness emanates from this band, and next weekend I will be there to savor it all. I absolutely cannot wait. Buy your tickets now, and check out their full schedule here.


Rag & Bone denim jacket

A classic waist-hitting denim jacket is a must in my summer wardrobe, and with Rag & Bone’s now on sale, I wanted to share with you.

Rouje Gabin dress 

More and more I am gravitating toward dresses in the summer. With my shoulders covered or something to cover my shoulders, and midi-length with comfortable fabric, such designs have my attention. While this dress is made of polyester, which is why the price point is lower, the design is lovely and available in many different prints.



Last year Geoffrey Rush starred as Albert Einstein in National Geographic’s mini-series Genius. This year, Pablo Picasso is the focus, starring Antonio Banderas. Beginning on Tuesday April 25th, 10 episodes will depict the founder of the Cubist art movement (did you know that Picasso and Banderas were born and raised in the same small Spanish town?) Listen to Banderas’ interview with CBS Sunday Morninghere and take a look at the trailer of the series below.

~recipe for Tarte aux Fraises~

This weekend will be dedicated to playing in the dirt! My favorite nursery is opening up for the season this weekend, and with the delivery of soil builder to infuse my small garden patch with natural nutrients, my fingers are dancing to pot my plants to add a touch of color to the porch and begin growing vegetables in the garden. I will be waiting to plant my basil as we still have a few chilly nights ahead, but needless to say, spring in the garden will hopefully be bursting after this weekend.

How has your week unfolded? Hopefully, very well indeed, and now Friday and the weekend to savor. Below I have more than a few French-inspired articles you might enjoy, as well as a new movie that will premiere in a month that looks like an immense amount of fun, fitness inspiration from a future princess and much more. Wishing you a lovely weekend and until Monday, bonne journée!

~Step inside San Francisco’s Tartine founders’ home 

~Just in case you’re curious how Meghan Markle stays in such svelte shape (don’t forget to mark your calendars for May 19th – the day of her wedding)~

~Travelers who stay in hotels, discover how to receive stellar hotel service~

~It’s difficult not to do, but we know we shouldn’t. How to break the unhelpful habit of comparing ourselves to others.

~Learn how to make the classic Beurre Blanc sauce that will elevate any recipe you pair it with.

~Traveling in Provence? Save this article full of day trips from Aix-en-Provence.

~But while you’re in Paris, check out the winner of the Best Baguette of this year.

~You know this movie will be included in an upcoming This & That, but until then, save the date – May 18th – The Book Club. Have a look at the trailer below.

~VIEW THIS & THAT posts from the recent past and long ago past below:

~1 Week AgoApril 13, 2018

~1 Month AgoMarch 23, 2018

~1 Year AgoApril 21, 2017

~2 Years AgoApril 22, 2016

13 thoughts on “This & That: April 20, 2018

  1. Good morning Shannon, enjoying your post and links on a sunny Friday, looking forward to the weekend. Can I say thank you for your video in the sidebar. On mornings when I’m not feeling at my best, the music, the positive messages and lovely images remind me of my focus. Have a lovely weekend. Best wishes, Sue, UK.

  2. I always love This&That, but this week has sent me scrambling down a few rabbit holes, to be sure!

    I remember reading Victoria magazine in high school, and I credit it with sparking my wanderlust. The England issue was always my favorite, but the magazine in general inspired all kinds of reading and investigation. When my husband and I did eventually wind up living in Europe for a few years, I was glad to have had that background.

    As ever, thanks for the weekly inspiration and ideas to chase!

  3. Loving this post Shannon. Lots to peruse. Have not encountered the author Andrew Sean Green but his book would be great to take on vacation. Hands getting dirty in my potager here in France. Weather glorious!! Have a fun weekend gardening and tapping to the hot sardines?

  4. Hi Shannon, thank you so much for sharing my article about day trips from Aix-en-Provence. I’m so glad you did because that’s how I’ve discovered your beautiful blog just now! Look forward to having a good read. Have a great weekend, Nadine

  5. Really interested by ‘The Art of the Wasted Day’ I struggle with true leisure, it always has to include doing something, so I would be keen to read that. I’ve added it to my books to read list.

  6. Good morning Shannon! I am a new visitor to your blog and have recently started your podcast {I am completely in love with both!}. I just wanted to say thank you for all of the wonderful things you do – I am truly enjoying them. 🙂

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