This & That: April 9, 2021

Apr 09, 2021

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Mysteries abound – the real, the fictional, set in France, set in England. So many! A new magazine for discovering sophisticated inspiration for adorning your home and your life, capsule wardrobe items on great discount as well as worth investing in, books for inspiring you to embrace and enjoy the journey as well as help you garden organically and bake cookies endlessly. Along with many articles to peruse and a video to inspire you to believe in yourself.


Charlotte Moss Flowers by Charlotte Moss

Interior designer Charlotte Moss just released a new book this week encouraging readers “to bring the garden indoors–with ideas for arranging flowers, selecting containers, and placing blossoms around the house. An inviting cluster of blooms on a guest room’s bedside table, lavish floral displays for parties and holidays, single stems adding life to any corner of a room–Moss has been photographing her flower arrangements for over a decade. This book is a celebration of her artistry and a testament to flowers as part of day-to-day life.”

The House on First Street: My New Orleans Story by Julia Reed

While released some time ago (2009), Julia Reed’s memoir is one to check out. “After fifteen years of living like a vagabond on her reporter’s schedule, Julia Reed got married and bought a house in the historic Garden District. Four weeks after she moved in, Hurricane Katrina struck. The House on First Street is the chronicle of Reed’s remarkable and often hilarious homecoming, as well as a thoroughly original tribute to our country’s most original city.”

The Last Correspondent: A Novel by Soraya M. Lane

Released last fall and set during WWII, follow the lives of journalist Ella Franks, American photojournalist Danni Bradford, and a model for Vogue Chloe who all find themselves in war-torn France. “When trailblazing efforts turn to tragedy, Danni, Ella and Chloe are drawn together, and soon form a formidable team. Each woman is determined to follow her dreams ‘no matter what,’ and to make her voice heard over the noise of war.”

British Finds

The Very British Murder w/Lucy Worsley, BBC 4 (BritBox too!)

I owe a tremendous thank you to a TSLL reader for bringing this limited series to my attention. Historian Lucy Worsely narrates and stars in the three-part series focused on the origins of the British Mystery. View all three episodes (which aired in 2013) on BritBox (via Amazon Prime if you would like), or directly on BBC 4.

Worsley’s book (seen here) was published in 2014 and shares the same findings (and I would imagine much more but in written form). Take your pick or enjoy them both. 🙂


100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen, with Classic Cookies, Novel Treats, Brownies, Bars and More by Sarah Kieffer

For all of you bakers out there, blogger Sarah Kieffer’s cookbook (check out her blog The Vanilla Bean), released last August is a hit of a resource if you want to deviate from your go-to recipes and try something knew, or simply want to amp-up your traditional favorites.

Francophile Find

The Vanishing Museum at Rue Mistral by M.L. Longworth

Being released next Tuesday (April 13th), the ninth book in M.L. Longworth’s Provençal series takes readers back to the sleuthing savvy ways of endearing couple Verlaque and Bonnet. “Something strange has happened at the unassuming Musée de Quentin-Savary in Aix-en-Provence. When the director, Monsieur Achille Formentin, walks in one beautiful April morning, he is shocked to find the whole museum emptied of its contents–only a bench, the reception desk, and a lowly fern remain.”

Stay tuned for more with the author later this month here on TSLL, as I am excited to share a Q & A after I have the opportunity read the book. M.L. Longworth has been a guest on the podcast two times (episode #203 and #268) and she took me on a walking tour of Aix-en-Provence in 2018 – check it out here. Each time, I am reminded how much I adore France and cannot wait to return.


How to Garden The Low Carbon Way: The Steps You Can Take to Help Combat Climate Change by Sally Nex

I first learned of British gardener Sally Nex while reading the latest issue of Gardeners’ World magazine, and her new book further grabbed my attention as I too am doing what I can to garden organically. If you are beginning to garden but unsure about your environmental impact, this guide will give you practical advice on which soil to use, plants that are best for absorbing carbon dioxide, low-carbon fertilizers, and cutting out single-use plastic . . . Share in the delight of eco-conscious gardening when you start using How to Garden the Low Carbon Way as your guide. Explore the benefits of no-dig gardening, how to use fewer plants, using hedges instead of fences, how to grow shrubs that support wildlife, and more.” 


Frederic by Schumacher

I happened across the new title of a previously published magazine, Frederic earlier this week, and upon learning the publication focuses on the “well-lived life—interior and garden design, architecture, entertaining, art, color trends, and more”, I wanted to see it for myself. Formerly known as The BulletinFredericled by Editor-in-Chief Dara Caponigro, is a must-read for anyone who is discerning about design. Delivered to your door three times a year, the title is drawn from the founder of Frederic Schumacher, Paris-born and arriving in New York in 1889, and will undoubtedly be a special arrival to enjoy snuggled into your favorite reading chair on the three dates of the year it arrives.


Chinti & Parker Ivory belted printed twill midi dress (50% off)

A simple well-made dress available at a great price. Paired with nude heels or sandals, a simple tote, worn underneath a classic trench, this outfit would be timeless and transitional from day to a simple evening out.

Frame Sheila striped pocket shirt

Casual, timeless attire, narrow navy and white stripes, in a comfortable design.

Madewell, 40% off site-wide

So many wonderful items at great prices. Perfect for a spring wardrobe. I especially like this cotton-linen belted blazer (see below).


M.M. LaFleur Clothing

Having one of M.M.LaFleur’s dresses in my capsule wardrobe (a striped shirtdress), I can attest their quality is mighty awesome and their pieces can easily be worn and enjoyed for years. I have shopped a few items below, but it is their Leo pullover made of silk jersey that caught my eye initially. Cozy and offering a slim silhouette. Shop a few more items below, but be sure to shop the entire site as well.

Victoria Beckham Tan Leather Tote (50% off)

While typically Victoria Beckham’s items are waaaay out of my budget, when they go on sale, I take a look, especially her accessories. Certainly, still an investment item, this classic tote which comes with an a unique differentiation from other totes due to its handles’ sizes is worth taking a look at.


Murdoch Mysteries, season 14 (Amazon Prime, AcornTV)

While premiering in January earlier this year, if you don’t live in Canada, you can now enjoy the latest new season of Murdoch’s Mysteries on AcornTV. With currently seven episodes available, the first one especially is a hoot. (queue up the George lovers, of which I consider myself!)

This Is Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist, Netflix documentary

A film I look forward to watching this weekend on Netflix, having just debuted on April 7th, discover the world’s biggest art heist. Check out the trailer below.

~recipe for Rhubarb Crumble from House & Garden UK~

The rhubarb in the garden has begun to show its deep, wrinkled green leaves. Soon the brilliant red stalks will be ready to cut, and it is the recipe above I am excited to try when they are. The garden is beginning to show signs of life, and it has been fun getting outside (check out Wednesday’s post of the 14 things I am doing in my garden this month).

This week is the last week of hybrid at our school as we will be going back full time on Monday, so we are all taking deep breaths and diving in as best and as safely as we can. The energy of spring will certainly help as the shift will be significant in the schedule, but we can do it. We can.

Being able to finish my part of the bathroom planning project helped take a larger-than-I-realized task off my plate, and now I am just waiting for all of the parts to arrive so my contractor can begin his work hopefully this June. The birds have begun to wake up the neighborhood each morning, and I am absolutely loving their melodies. I hope you too had many everyday moments that delighted you this week. Before you dive in to the articles and videos below, I wanted to thank you for stopping by this week. If you haven’t already explored becoming a TOP Tier subscriber, be sure to see the pricing options, as we just had a lovely conversation in April’s A Cuppa Moments video chat. I want to thank all of the subscribers who have stopped by to tune in to our monthly chats, and thank you as well if you joined the conversation. Each month is truly a treat, and the community you have helped to create is a wonderful space to connect. I am incredibly humbled by your kindness, curiosity and determination in living lives which enable you to experience contentment in your unique way. Until Monday, bonne journée.

~How to give your undivided attention in order to be more productive [LifeHack]

~Amanda Gorman (poet who shined at the inauguration) is on the cover of this month’s Vogue. Read the profile piece and view the photos here.

~Looking for a dependable fix for your business Zoom calls for not only looking better but feeling better about them (and while in them)? Seth Godin has you situation solved.

~More ideas and tips for what to do in your garden this April [House & Garden UK]

~This receip from Nigel Slater looks cozy-good for spring weather – lentil and tomato soup [The Guardian]

~A tranquil garden tour in Lancashire, England [House & Garden UK]

~Change the soundtrack of your life, change your life for the better [frictionless living]

~The neighborhood bonds that will outlive the pandemic [WSJ]

~How to cope with being underestimated [Shondaland]

~An economist’s tips on how to make email work for you [Financial Times]

~How to shop for vintage and antique jewelry [JuliaVonBoehm]

~Why journaling as a practice is the best gift you can give yourself [Pick the Brain]

~If you too enjoyed Searching For Italy starring Stanley Tucci, here are the recipes for six sought-after favorites [CNN]

~Need some inspiration? Check out this TEDx talk

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

  1. I just started the first episode of This is a Robbery and, I thought to myself Shannon would love this.

    Great minds think alike.😊

  2. I can’t believe “Murdoch Mysteries” has been going for 14 years!! I clearly remember skeptically watching the first episode & thinking, wow, this is so . . . Canadian! No guns, no real violence, lots of dialogue, not a whole lot of drama of the type we’re used to. I mean, two of my favourite TV cop shows are “The Wire” & “Justified”, both utterly brilliant character-driven shows backed by some of the finest writing ever but violent & profane. Yet there was something about Murdoch that kept me coming back week after week, probably not the least of which was that I lived in Toronto for years & often caught glimpses of places I actually knew. But 14 years! Hard to believe.

    Great sources & resources this week, too, Shannon, thank you. Lots of things to track down & read & watch. Hope you & your other readers have a wonderful & safe week. My husband & I will be getting our first Covid jabs 3-4 weeks sooner than we thought. Turns out our town has enough vaccine & personnel to vaccinate everyone more quickly than they initially planned — we got a phone call from our doctor’s office this morning telling us we can get them this coming Sunday (they’re not fooling around in their efforts to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible!). It’s been a long, long year & while we’ve both been very careful but not particularly worried, I only realized after finalizing our appointments this morning what a huge relief it’s going to be to see this virus in our rear view mirror.

    1. Susanne, So happy for you and your husband. 🙂 Enjoy the relief I have a feeling you will discover. And yes, you described Murdoch Mysteries well – smart, character-driven and a demonstration that intelligence and lack-violence can do incredibly well. Have a lovely spring weekend and thank you very much for stopping by.

  3. Thank you for all the great suggestions, Shannon! Really looking forward to a new Bonnet and Verlaque mystery. Hope the weekend will being you some good gardening weather! 💋

    1. Thank you for stopping by! Yes, I read far too quickly each book in Longworth’s series. The two main characters are so well written you feel as though you would pass them on the street in Aix or anywhere in France and be an observer to their sleuthing. 🙂 Wishing you great gardening weather this weekend so you can play in the dirt! 🙂

  4. Thank you for this wonderful treasure trove of ideas, can’t wait to hop into the beautiful world of Verlaque again! And the cream silk knit shirt above is swoon-worthy. Will be thinking about you this week in your classroom, sending good thoughts, and hope it goes smoothly and comfortably for your whole school 💕

  5. Shannon, I’m thrilled that you mentioned Julia Reed. What fun she brings to her readers! I was devastated to hear of her passing away recently. May her playfulness live on in her books for years and years to come. Hugs.

    1. Elizabeth, thank you for sharing wish us about Julia Reed. I had no idea, and upon reading your comment, when exploring her biography and life. What a human she was and gone too soon. She had such livlieness and a love for life it seemed. Thank you for sharing again.

  6. Hello Shannon and fellow readers,
    Happy Spring! Here in Wisconsin we have no flowers as of yet, but several days of unusual sunshine and warmth, followed by copious rain, has greened things up considerably ahead of time…such a pleasure.
    I cannot WAIT for M.L. Longworth’s new book, have just excitedly ordered the Frederic magazine, and will pick up Julie Reed’s book for inspiration for an anticipated trip to New Orleans (have never been) this fall. So sad to learn of her death.

    Also sad to hear of Prince Phillip’s passing. But what a long and well-lived life. I find his background fascinating….as well as his no-whinging policy, forthrightness, and lively, wry humor. I’m wondering if there is a well-written biography on his life….

    At any rate…enjoy the weekend…and the last few months of teaching…always so busy but bittersweet and exciting too! 💐🌼🥂

    1. Jeannine, Sounds like a lovely spring! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 I too cannot wait peruse through the new Frederic magazine. Hopefully it is as inspiring and beautiful as I imagine. Yes, the passing of Prince Phillip while expected in some ways, is still incredibly hard to accept as he was a pillar of steadiness and strength for the queen – quite the pair. As you’ve indicated, it is important to look at his entire life beginning from birth to understand much about his journey. Great question about the biography. I will keep a look out. 😉 Thank you for stopping by!

  7. Shannon thank you for another wonderful list of this and that. I particularly like the fashion selection. Perfect for Spring. Also thrilled you’re embarking on organic gardening. The only way in my humble opinion. You’ve made me very nostalgic for British Mysteries by Lucy Worsley. So enjoyed it when it first aired. Also loved the Murdoch mysteries. It reminds me of the British detective series “Bergerac” set in Jersey and has a great cast with John Nettles in the lead. With reference to Jeannine’s question on books about the late Prince Philip. There are a few but I enjoyed reading”Prince Philip Revealed” by Ingrid Seward. She is Editor in Chief of “Majesty” magazine and has been commentating on all things Royal for over 30 years and the cover photo him is stunning!😊

  8. I appreciate the recommendation and link to my ‘Change the Soundtrack’ post.

    Great site, keep on sharing the light.


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