This & That: April 10, 2020

Apr 10, 2020

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Two fun films, Julian Fellowes’ new series debuts, two cookware sales not to miss, a renowned French baker releases his second cookbook, lovers of antiques and Paris – I have a book for you, and a book for reinventing the path ahead as well as so much more.


In Our Prime: How Older Women are Reinventing the Road Ahead by Susan J. Douglas

I recently read a contributing piece in The New York Times by author Susan J. Douglas, and appreciated her assertion and wanted to read more. Turns out, she was sharing an excerpt of her new book which was released last month.

“Do you see women your age portrayed as puttering gardeners and docile grannies? Do you feel bombarded by anti-aging products that insist you must ‘defy’ getting older? And have you had enough, and are ready to challenge the intertwining of sexism and ageism in our culture?” Then I have a feeling you are going enjoy and more importantly, apprieciate her book. I know I will. I may love to garden, but I don’t putter, I create, and then I contribute what I can uniquely give to the world and look forward to doing so well beyond what age society applauds women for being as they ‘should’ be.

Little Book of Big Life Changes by Carrie Ciula

Released as the new year began this year, “in a world full of people who are searching for big change, The Little Book of Big Life Change explores nine key elements of well-being and offers a wide-spanning, complete approach to regaining balance in our lives. Interweaving science with experience and ancestral wisdom, health and wellness guide Carrie Ciula helps us understand the ways that we can be living in a state of imbalance and shows us how to hone in on a few all-important, but often pushed-aside parts of life: nutrition, breath, movement, rest, cleansing, thought, unity, purpose, and love”.

A Wonderful Life: Insights on Finding a Meaninful Existence by Frank Martela PhD

Released late last month, “part prescriptive and part armchair philosophy book, A Wonderful Life is accessible to everyone, from the well-read scholar to the apprentice as well as anyone curious about how to extract the greatest meaning and sense of purpose from their existence.

Grappling with some of life’s most pressing questions, like ‘Is happiness a worthy goal?’ and ‘What is the foundation for meaning in a secular society?’ and ‘Is life an existential void?’ Martela answers these questions and more in a relaxed, conversational tone and with a wry sense of humor, placing some of life’s greatest philosophical concerns and quandaries into a modern-day context”.

British Find


From the creator of Downton Abbey, and inspired by the book Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia (2016), the series comes to iTV beginning on April 12th. Episodes are already available on iTV if you have access to it, and you can view a trailer below.

Set in 1840 London, with the plot actually beginning in 1815 on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo at a ball thrown by the Duke of Wellington in Belgium, “twenty-five years later when the two families are settled in the newly developed area of Belgravia, London, the events of the ball still resonate . . . because behind Belgravia’s magnificent doors is a world of secrets, gossip and intrigue…”


Everyone Can Bake: Simple Recipes to Master and Mix by Dominique Ansel

I cannot wait for my copy of the James Beard award-winning French chef and baker Dominique Ansel to arrive as it is a manual, a teaching book if you will for those of us who want to create in our own kitchens our own French pastries and baked goods.

In his interview on the podcast In Julia’s Kitchen, Ansel shares why he wrote his second cookbook – to guide and set the baker free to create as they will. Mix and match fillings and toppings with the dessert that you have always wanted to know how to bake.

Released on April 14th, I do hope you enjoy.


Soul of the Home: Designing with Antiques by Tara Shaw

Having had the opportunity to receive my own copy of interior designer and antique treasure hunter Tara Shaw‘s new book, if you love antiques and you love Paris, you will appreciate this resource of a book. Full of inspiring images from her own home as well as clients, Shaw shares how to combine and welcome antiques into your home without creating an “old” space.

And even better, in the back of the book she shares which brocantes and flea markets to visit and where in both France, especially Paris as well as Italy. A book worth keeping and pouring through as you make your next itinerary to visit Europe.


Almost Love

Released in February, Almost Love has received numerous film nods of applause for its examination on love and whether or not it has an expiration date. Have a look at the trailer below and look for it on iTunes.

Love Wedding Repeat

If you are looking for some humor and absurdity, check out the new film on Netflix which premieres today. Taking place at a wedding and told through multiple perspectives, discover how signals can be crossed, hopes and fears can bubble to the surface while others have no clue what the other is going through. Looks like fun and a bit of a release as you will be laughing quite frequently I have a feeling. Have a look at the trailer below.


—Yoga, Online classes

Recently a TSLL reader shared with me a wonderful resource for free yoga classes online and taught live. Yoga Works streams from instructor’s studios/homes from around the country, and you can join for free for the time being.

As well, I also discovered, as I wanted to support my local instructors that many yoga centers are offering their yoga classes via Zoom. You will still pay the regular rate you would normally pay, but you will be in “class” live with the instructor and other students. I have signed up for my weekly class and cannot wait to get back into a more rigorous yoga routine. Check out The Yoga Lab for readers to enjoy their own Bend instructor no matter where you live in the world.


Le Creuset Unbelieveable Sale, 20% off full-priced items

Le Creuset does not have sales like this often, if ever. If you have been wanting to bring the classic and timeless Le Creuset Dutch oven into your kitchen batterie de cuisine, now is the time. Offering 20% off full-priced items, choose your dream color, the ideal size and cook to your heart’s content.

Sur la Table, Cookware Sale

Similiarly, Sur la table is having a cookware sale with many items marked 55% off. The Mauviel copper saucepans seen below and, more Le Creuset, their Signature Cast-Iron Skillet. Be sure to check out the entire sale.


Cashmere-Wool Knit Margaux Slippers (three colors)

Slippers. I am always looking for a good pair of cozy, yet functional slippers that will not fall off my feet, and I have finally found them! Margaux’s luxuriously soft slippers are avilable in ivory and navy as well as grey, and I am saving up for my own pair.

Available in navy, grey or ivory.


The World on Fire, PBS Masterpiece

I am a week behind on this announcement, as The World on Fire premiered last Sunday on PBS Masterpiece at 9pm. Set across Europe as well as the United States during World War II, “follow the intertwining fates of ordinary people in five countries as they grapple with the effects of the war on their everyday lives”. Enjoy this series through May 17th on PBS and catch up on PBS Passport. Take a look at the trailer below.

~recipe for Whipped Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake~

The sun is bright and warm. The days are longer. The temperatures are soothly, and the yard has an abundance of work begging me to complete this weekend. 🙂 Of which I will dive in wholeheartedly! But I must weed the boulevard first which is actually quite therapeutic.

I hope your week went better than you expected. I hope you found unexpected moments of delight and contentment. I hope you are finding your way in such a way that brings you the regular moments of respite and calm you need. I have enjoyed sharing my days on IG Stories with you all (follow along @thesimplyluxuriouslife), as being home has been honestly something I have enjoyed as I learn the rhythms of my home. The daffodils have bloomed and shared their beauty more and more each day in the yard, and I cannot help but savor them. As I shared here, a third daffodil made its way into the house (this time, not because Norman stepped on it), and I loved finding an excuse to place it in a vase so I could have them both inside and out.

The middle of April is nearly here, and as the seasons shift, so too is the progress forward as we navigate through these times. We are making progress, and we are seeing glimmers of reason for hope. Hang in there with me. We’ve got this. And in the meantime, I have compiled many articles and one video (Hamilton lovers I think you will love this) I do hope you will enjoy. Until Monday, bonne journée.

~Why Flour Mills are working around the clock [BBC]

~Since you may have some flour and want to make the most of it – Tips for Bread Baking for Those Staying at Home [NPR]

~A Paris street frozen in 1942 (see 100+ photographs) [The Earful Tower]

~Discover how boulangeries are helping France make it through this time [NPR]

~Powell’s Independent Bookstore Rehires 100 Employees as Online Book Orders Surges [Afar]

~What will travel look like after [CNN]

~My favorite read this Friday – In rebuilding a broken world, we will have a chance to build a less-hurried life [The Atlantic]

~How Bookshops are Helping with Isolation around the Globe [BBC]

~15 Life Lessons Everyone Should Learn for a Good Mindset [LifeHack]

~Nine interior design lessons we can learn from the French [Vogue Living]

~How to Grow a Windowsill Veg Pot [The English Garden]

~Decor Tips from British interior designer Ben Pentreath – the Dos & Don’ts [House & Garden UK]

~Did you hear? Enjoy the May 2020 issue of House & Garden UK for free!

~How to Make Quarantined Meals Feel Like Fabulous Dinner Parties [Architectural Digest]

~5 Painfully Obvious Truths We Tend to Forget in Hard Times [Mark and Angel]

~If you love the Broadway award winning play or just the music, you will want to watch the below video as the original cast came together to serenade a special young girl on John Krazinski’s Some Good News Show – it’s pretty sweet to listen to (start at 10:45). Enjoy.

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