This & That: April 24, 2020

Apr 24, 2020

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A novel inspired by Jane Austen’s sister, a new French fashion house opens up an exhibit for all to enjoy, summer dresses that will be timeless for years, a must-have basket for gardeners, a new HBO comedy and much more.


Happiness is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life by Sylvia Boorstein Ph.D.

While released more than 10 years ago, Dr. Sylvia Boorstein’s book is worth revisiting.  “In more than three decades of practice and teaching she has discovered that the secret to happiness lies in actively cultivating our connections with the world, with friends, family, colleagues–even those we may not know well. She shows us how mindfulness, concentration, and effort–three elements of the Buddhist path to wisdom–can lead us away from anger, anxiety, and confusion, and into calmness, clarity, and the joy of living in the present”.

Miss Austen: A Novel by Gill Hornby

Released on April 8th, set in London 1840, two decades after Jane Austen’s death, her sister Cassandra “returns to the village of Kintbury and the home of her family friends, the Fowles. In a dusty corner of the vicarage, there is a cache of Jane’s letters that Cassandra is desperate to find. Dodging her hostess and a meddlesome housemaid, Cassandra eventually hunts down the letters and confronts the secrets they hold, secrets not only about Jane but about Cassandra herself”.

Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Vivek H. Murthy M.D.

Being released next Tuesday, the 19th Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Vivek H. Murthy “makes a case for loneliness as a public health concern: a root cause and contributor to many of the epidemics sweeping the world today from alcohol and drug addiction to violence to depression and anxiety . . . The lessons in Together have immediate relevance and application. These four key strategies will help us not only to weather this crisis, but also to heal our social world far into the future: Spend time with those you love each day, focus on each other, embrace solitude, and help and be helped.”

British Finds

Tea Time magazine’s May/June 2020 issue

The last episode of Tea Time magazine was the first I had the opportunity to enjoy, especially so as France was the theme. And it looks as though their recent issue will be enjoyable as well. You can purchase single issues (link above) or enjoy a yearly subscription.


Start Simple: Eleven Everyday Ingredients for Countless Weeknight Meals by Lukas Volger

Released this past February, veteran food writer, recipe developer, and creator of the James Beard Award-winning Jarry magazine shares a cookbook that while offering vegetarian recipes; however, “his methods aren’t about subscribing to a specific dietary regimen; they are about simply recognizing and embracing the way people cook and eat today. Creating weekly meal plans based on intricate recipes sounds good, but it can be difficult to execute. Having a well-stocked pantry paired with a choose-you-own adventure guide to creating simple yet inventive meals is more practical for your average home cook”.

Francophile Find

Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams Exhibit

Perhaps you as well, like myself, did not have the opportunity or good fortunate to tour Christian Dior’s Designer of Dreams exhibit. Well do not worry, here is some good news: Dior is opening up the exhibit for viewers to enjoy virtually. Sit back and watch the one hour video which takes you through the entire show.


Royal Sussex Garden Trug (three sizes)

There are a few baskets I want to add to my collection of utilitarian tools to have at the ready for use in the garden, and a trug is one of them. Available in three sizes, these traditional garden baskets are made of sweet chestnut and willow wood. When not in use, they are just as beautiful to be on display.  


Everlane Day Loafer (many colors)

Quality, comfortable, yet stylish shoes are a must for everyday responsibilities and errands, and Everlane’s leather day loafer is just one to take a look at.

Everlane Modern Trench Coat (two colors)

I cannot help but share a quality classic trench when I find one, especially when it is available at a great price.

La Ligne NYC Monaco dress

Summer will be here soon, and this navy cotton-poplin dress is simple and stunning.

PQ Swim Amelial Long Dress

Casual, comfortable and perfect by the pool or while strolling in the hot summer Provençal heat going about your visit to the markets.

Soia & Kyo Floriana Jacket in Rosewater

A plaid print short trench offers just the touch of personality while still being timeless, chic and highly functional for versatile occasions.

Yumi Kim Iris Maxi (white and navy polka dot)

Polka dots are the trend this season, and navy will never be out of style, so this maxi dress would be a wise purchase to enjoy for years to come.



On April 12th “half-hour comedy series RUN follows a woman whose humdrum life is thrown upside down when she receives a text from her college sweetheart inviting her to drop everything and meet him in New York to fulfill the pact they made 17 years previously”.

The talents that brough award winning comedy FleaBag to the screen, yep, that includes Phoebe Waller-Bridge, have a comedy that just premiered on HBO you might enjoy. Tune in at 10:30 on Sundays, and take a look at the trailer below.

Um . . . Yum! When I saw David Lebovitz repost this classic and a favorite dessert from his archives, I saved it immediately. Doesn’t it just make you feel good lookiing at it? I cannot wait to give it a try.

The week has been a lovely one despite all that is swirling around us. The rain came to water the yard and garden, progress was made on a few long-term projects and school went decently well also as I feel as though I may be settling into a routine that works and clarity about expectations for both students and staff has been confirmed.

As I shared in previous weeks, the routine that was pulled out from underneath us is what is largely unsettling, so finding our own way to reclaim a routine that helps us feel at ease as well as productive can make a tremendous difference as we make our way through the current situation.

With all of that said, I hope your week went better than expected, and below are a handful or articles and two videos I think you might enjoy. Until Monday, bonne journée!

~Did you know that Gardening Can Boost Confidence, Self-Esteem and Body Image? Yep! [Country Living UK]

~One Secret for Getting Through Tough Situations [Marc and Angel]

~Why Walking Matters, Now More Than Ever [WSJ]

~The Countries with the Best Coronavirus Have Something Significant in Common – Women Leaders [Forbes]

~How to Improve Your French Online [HipParis]

~A Paris without People Watching [The New Yorker]

~The Most Beautiful Photos of London in Bloom [CN Traveller]

~Good News! Yes, you can receive a full refund for your cancelled travel plans [Travel + Leisure]

~How the Coronavirus is Affecting Each Generation [Business Insider]

~Tour Alan Titchmarsh’s Hampshire Garden . . . and discover how you can support the nurses of NHS in Britain.

~Looking for some ideas on how to create a morning routine that works for you? Reece Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston may have some ideas for you.

3 thoughts on “This & That: April 24, 2020

  1. Think you’ll find that Teatime magazine is pretty darn American when you settle in with a cup and read it. Good publication

  2. What a beautiful thing is a Trug. I have had 2 for many years. I used to live in the next village in Sussex where they were made. You could stop by and browse and watch the craftspeople at work in a tiny workshop. I think it has merged with a craft consortium. Pricey but worth it. It’s a piece of art?

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