This & That: April 23, 2021

Apr 23, 2021

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A book to change your next life choice and elevate the quality of your one and only journey, two cookbooks – one French inspired and one from a beloved British cook, an Indie film which received high praise at Sundance this year (and what I am looking forward to watching this weekend), items for your late spring and summer wardrobe, the return of a British series favorite and still much more . . .


Fresh Brewed Murder by Emmeline Duncan

Portland, Oregon-based cozy mystery writer Emmeline Duncan just released the first in what looks to be a series with Fresh Brewed Murder (a Ground Rules Mystery). Incorporating real-world current issues present in Portland, along with the city’s love for a masterful cup of coffee, “Master barista Sage Caplin is opening a new coffee cart in Portland, Oregon, but a killer is brewing up a world of trouble…”

Mindfulness: The Remarkable Truth Behind Meditation and Being Present in Your Life by Olivia Telford

While released in 2019, Oliva Telford’s book caught my eye as I continue to explore the mastery of the mind. “Discover the secrets of truly calm, contented people. Drawing on ancient knowledge passed down over thousands of years, and come to understand exactly how to embrace mindfulness. Below are a handful of ideas which are explored in detail:

  • How to calm your racing mind within minutes
  • Instant ways to make yourself feel more positive
  • A simple method to conquer feelings of stress
  • How to heal symptoms of depression
  • The most powerful way to skyrocket your productivity and kill procrastination
  • Exactly what to do to plan for an amazing future
  • The best way to enrich all the relationships in your life

The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self by Martha Beck

If you are feeling lost, heart-sick, or have an intuition your life is being directed by ‘supposed-to’s but not fulfilling something deep within you, Dr. Martha Beck’s new book (released last week) is for you. I learned of the new title when I watched the below interview on Marie TV and highly recommmend viewing their conversation. “In The Way of Integrity, Beck presents a four-stage process that anyone can use to find integrity, and with it, a sense of purpose, emotional healing, and a life free of mental suffering. Much of what plagues us–people pleasing, staying in stale relationships, negative habits–all point to what happens when we are out of touch with what truly makes us feel whole.” Mine is ordered, and I cannot wait to begin reading.

British Find

Cook, Eat, Repeat by Nigella Lawson

While I shared last fall here on TSLL, Nigella Lawson’s latest cookbook Cook, Eat, Repeat as it was released in the UK in October 2020, just this past Tuesday, it was released here in the states. With more than 5,000 positive reviews, Lawson’s new compilation of recipes includes “chapters of more than a hundred new recipes for all seasons and tastes from Burnt Onion and Eggplant Dip to Chicken with Garlic Cream Sauce; from Beef Cheeks with Port and Chestnuts to Ginger and Beetroot Yogurt Sauce. Those with a sweet tooth will delight in desserts including Rhubarb and Custard Trifle; Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake; and Cherry and Almond Crumble.”

Midsomer Murders, Season 22

Just popping up on my watchlist this week on Amazon Prime, the latest season of Midsomer Murders. View the first two episodes of Season 22 now on AcornTV, and slip away to the English countryside with DCI John Barnaby and Detective Jamie Winter. In total, there will be six episodes in this season, so look for four more episodes to be available likely later this fall or this summer (the originally airing on iTV was delayed due to the pandemic).


Together, Together

Now this looks like a lovely film to savor this weekend. Starring Patti Harrison and Ed Helms, “Originally premiering at the Sundance Film Festival this year, and one of the underrated gems of the fest, Together, Together centers around a young loner who becomes the gestational surrogate for a single man in his 40s. The two strangers come to realize this unexpected relationship will challenge their perceptions of connection, boundaries and the particulars of love. It’s a film about platonic love, and friendship, and how two people can be good friends without romance.” Look for it on streaming services now and check out the trailer below.

Francophile Find

À Table: Recipes for Cooking and Eating The French Way by Rebekah Peppler

Released earlier this month, New York Times contributing writer Rebekah Peppler “shares 125 elegant, ‘new French’ recipes that reflect a modern, multicultural French table. With approachable recipes, a conversational tone, and aspirational photography, À Table contains secrets for cooking simple, sophisticated meals and recreating the magic and charm of French life anywhere in the world.”

Rattan Chairs, set of four, vintage (from Atelier Vime)

If you are looking for unique, vintage French-made furniture for your home decor, be sure to visit Atelier Vime. Atelier Vime’s history is a rich history of wickerworking developed in a Provençal village. Since immemorial times, the wicker culture and work have been the main trades occupying the people of this peninsula bordering the Rhône river, between Arles and Saint Rémy de Provence . . . The historic arts & craft trade was extinct when the ‘hotel Drujon’ was acquired by the creators of the Atelier Vime. To this day numerous records still attest to the high level of craftmanship cultivated on the property for close to 150 years.” I have perused the many furniture and decor items, and the rattan set of four chairs would make a unique eye-catching detail around a bistro or kitchen nook table. Of course, be sure to explore the many other items.

Gien Ceramics (their mug!)

Oh, Gien. An esteemed French ceramics company, and the maker of my favorite tea mug (similar one seen below – it is the ergonomical thumb rest and light-weight that makes this mugs a dream to use). Use the promo code MERCI10 to save 10% off of your purchase this week, site-wide.

Monet & Boston: Legacy Illuminated

Claude Monet’s art comes to Boston. Opening this past Saturday (April 17) and running through October 17th at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, purchase your tickets now to view “Monet and Boston: Legacy Illuminated”. Highlighting 25 masterpieces by the French artist—selections are drawn from the MFA’s extraordinary holdings of his work alongside select loans from local private collections. 


Agua by Agua Bendita White Lavanda floral-print cotton and silk-blend pareo

Summer is coming and a beautiful cover-up is a wonderful item to have in your summer capsule wardrobe. Agua’s White Lavanda floral print in cotton and silk is a timeless piece to purchase and enjoy for years.

Iris & Ink leaf green Ardel wrap-effect cotton-broadcloth midi dress

A spring and summer effortless choice to take you from day perusing the markets to the evening, dining al fresco. Only a few sizes remain, so be sure to scoop it up if it has caught your eye.


The 93rd Academcy Awards (aka The Oscars)

The Oscars, the red carpet, even actors in the seats in Los Angeles (not all of them as many will be Zooming in from abroad), yep, the 93rd Academy Awards returns albeit a couple of months delayed. Much has been discussed about the awards and their necessity, but one fact that cannot be denied is this year, the nominees are more diverse than they have every been before. Tune in at 6:00p Pacific time this Sunday evening. (fill out your own Oscar ballot here)

I may have over-exerted myself last weekend, imagining I had more energy (and more hours of sleep and days of the weekend) and thus, more time to recover; however, the exhaustion was more than worth it. The garden has been fed four cubic square yards of compost and the office has been completely wallpapered (look for a room tour this summer). Sleep was deep indeed on Saturday and Sunday.

Needless to say, I am eager to slow down a bit this weekend, tinker at my potting table transplanting flowers and vegetables as well as sowing a few more items – pumpkins and courgettes, along with some cosmos. It looks like rain is in our forecast this weekend, and I ecstatically welcome its long-awaited arrival. There may even be a bit of snow one night, so I will be doing my best to cover and protect my dwarf peach tree (although it’s not as ‘dwarf’ as the name depicts 🙂 as a ladder will need to be involved). Fingers crossed all goes well.

This week here on TSLL has been busy and full of new posts and a new podcast episode to enjoy, beginning with episode #305 sharing 36 Bedtime Daily Rituals and Essential Details for a Restful Slumber, an exciting announcement regarding TSLL’s books, and a Q & A with a talented interior designer keenly attune to how to cultivate a cosy Anglophile sanctuary in both the home and the garden. Next Wednesday look for a tour here on the blog of my primary bedroom (become a TOP Tier subscriber to view), and already, in eight days, May’s A Cuppa Moments will air. Where did April go? Hopefully wiled away with many hours outside in the sunshine, playing in the dirt and savoring many everyday moments. 🙂

Below I have rounded up articles you might enjoy. Thank you very much for stopping by and until Monday, bonne journée.

~This article helpfully shares how to determine if you should wear a mask outdoors or not (hint, in two out of three situations, you don’t need to) [The New York Times]

~10 ways to bring spring hygge into your home [My Scandanavian Home]

~The unlikely rise of the French taco [The New Yorker]

~Why you should stop working long hours [Life Hack]

~On that same note, It’s time to reclaim your weekends! [Shondaland]

~10 sustainable fashion brands that don’t cost the earth [That’s Not My Age]

~25 things you need to stop wasting time on [Marc and Angel]

~The science of hugging and why we’ve missed it so much during the pandemic [The Guardian]

~How to grow perfect peonies [House & Garden UK]

9 thoughts on “This & That: April 23, 2021

  1. Thank you for all the lovely suggestions, Shannon! I listened to the whole Martha Beck interview and the book is now on my reading list. All the best for your weekend. I hope it gives you some good gardening weather

    1. Thank you for stopping by. It really was a lovely conversation and from the start had me intrigued about her new book. I appreciated her previous titles and have no doubt, this one will be worth the purchase. Have a wonderful weekend as well. 🙂

  2. I love the new Rebekah Peppler cookbook. It’s beautiful! Thank you for the article on growing peonies. I’ve got 4 plants right now, one being a few years old and three I planted as tubers last fall. They have popped up but are quite small and I don’t expect any blooms from them. I only have one bloom this year on my older peony and I suspect we cut it back too much last year. I guess part of the fun of gardening though, is to learn and watch what happens the next season.

    1. Cathy, Good morning! And thank you for stopping by. I love your approach to gardening. Thank you for sharing your words. Peonies are indeed an investment in patience but when we give them that, wow, as my mother’s peonies demonstrate, they can be amazingly awesome. Have a lovely weekend. 😌💛

  3. I cannot wait to see the bedroom freshening up! I just purchased a new mattress and spring time quilt. I put the Beck book on hold at the library and the movie looks light hearted and fun! Thank you for all the suggestions. I also listened to the latest podcast while walking the dog. I need to incorporate those into my routine. I am woken often by 2 cats and a dog (well, he only does that in the morning because he decided the second he sees the whites of your eyes, you are desperate to take him for his walk…and is very vocal about My night time routine is great. I would love to wake slowly and quietly but that isn’t going so well right now! Not long ago, it was babies to wake to, now it’s fur babies! Have a great weekend, I am off to get my second vaccine! Excited!!!

    1. Michelle, so excited for you!! ☺️ Sounds like your mornings are wonderful with time with the babes. 🙂 And there is clearly much love in your house as they know you care for them. Thank you for all that you’ve shared and thank you for bringing the podcast along while you walk! Have a lovely weekend 😌💛

  4. I really enjoy “This and That” and this week did not disappoint. I managed to pick up the Nigella book in the post Christmas sales and have made the cookies you pictured. They are melt in the mouth good. I have also purchased my first peony so the link was very timely. Thank you Shannon.

    1. Nicola, Thank you for sharing about the recipe. I may have to pick up this cookbook as it comes incredibly highly reviewed and the few episodes I saw of her series related to the book were wonderful. Thank you for the nudge. 🙂 Wishing you beautiful peonies. They are such a special and magically stunning flower.

  5. Thank you for all of the suggestions. I absolutely love peonies and enjoyed the article about them. Have you seen Greg McKeown’s new book, Effortless? I loved his first book and when I saw this new one yesterday I had to grab it. I’m just getting into it, but is already promising to be as wonderful as the first book.

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