Two novels (one new, one nearly new) that will be wonderful reads, a dress to ignite your excitement for spring’s arrival, a lighting sale, two bags – a weekender and evening, as well as a travel show I finally learned about and cannot wait to catch up on. Oh, and the Oscars! That’s just a start to this week’s This & That as there is much more. Enjoy!
—The Authenticity Project: A Novel by Clare Pooley
Just released this week, The Authentic Project tells the story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love. It all begins with “Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren’t really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes–in a plain, green journal–the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café”.
—This is Happiness: A Novel by Niall Williams
I was immediately interested in Niall Williams novel when I read the book jacket, and I think you will be too. The Washington Post and Real Simple have called it the best book of the year (2019). Set in Faha, a small Irish town, the novel is “a tender portrait of a community – its idiosyncrasies and traditions, its paradoxes and kindnesses, its failures and triumphs – and a coming-of-age tale like no other. It is about the power of stories: their invisible currents that run through all we do, writing and rewriting us, and the transforming light that they throw onto our world”.
—The Lost Girls: Love and Literature in Wartime London by DJ Taylor
The story of young women who were pulled into the worlds of literary and artistic giants during World War II. Discover how these “bright, beautiful, independent-minded women with tough upbringings were determined to make the most of their lives in a chaotic time”. Lys Lubbock, Sonia Brownell, Barbara Skelton, and Janetta Parlade have their previously untold stories told revealing their loves (one married George Orwell, another a mistress of the King of Egypt) and their unique journeys (one even worked and spent time in the couture studios of Schiaparelli). If you are fascinated by history and the women whose stories have yet to be told, I have a feeling you will enjoy this book.
If you are looking to add a touch of the beach, the coast or have a love for neutral, calming ocean-inspired decor, be sure to check out Serena & Lily’s Lighting sale.
Being released next Tuesday, Floret’s Flowers, aka Erin Benzakein and team, is released their second book. Learn how to buy, style and present arrangements for every season. If nothing else, pick up the book for her husband and team’s gorgeous photography of the flowers she grows (and seed and bulbs she sells each season) on her own farm in Washington state. (I swear by her daffodils – they are gorgeous!)
—Burberry Trench Coats, consigned, The RealReal
The classic Burberry trench need not require you to spend in the four digits if you know where to shop. If you have not already done so, be sure to shop The RealReal’s Burberry Trench collection. I have pulled a few, shown below, but there are oodles more and in a variety of sizes, lengths, and styles.
—Neely & Chloe No. 21 The Weekender Pebble (more colors)
A stylish weekender bag that is big enough for everything you will need and then some. Neely & Chloe’s offers an array of color options in their canvas and leather extra large tote, complete with removal shoulder strap.
—Shirtini Claridge and King Classic Stripe Shirt Dress (blue and white)
Spring is right around the corner, and this classic blue and white cotton shirt dress is perfect for a refreshed and timeless look.
—Wanders Travel Co. Versailles Evening Crossbody (more colors)
Made of full grain leather and brass fixtures, including an internal zipper pocket, find the color that works for you and have a simple, yet functional crossbody bag or clutch.
—The 92nd Annual Academy Awards (the Oscars)
For the second year in a row, the Oscars will be without an official host, but the list of presenters is long and vast (see here). Airing on ABC Sunday evening at 5pm (Pacific), even though there were some noteable snubs, I do look forward to watching every year, and this year is no different.
After reading this article written by travel host Samantha Brown, I quickly went to her website and discovered all of her Places to Love episodes were viewable online. For 20 years Samantha Brown has been one of the few female travel hosts taking viewers with her around the globe. In her most recent series which premiered in 2018 and is now airing on PBS (check your local listings), she takes us with her to “lesser known spots and haunts where innovators and disrupters are creating a brand new travel experience”. Have a look at the trailer below, and watch this video to get to know Samantha Brown a bit better in the series Women You Should Know.
A deep breath of appreciation. A sigh of calm and trust. Some weeks challenge us and others reinforce our confidence in our direction. I hope this past week has been the latter for you, and if not, I hope this weekend provides the restoration you need to boost your resolve.
This weekend, I will be staying home, writing, perhaps cooking something new in the kitchen and getting excited about all of the little details that will someday eventually come together regarding my home’s decor (the series began on the blog this week with how to begin the customization process of your home). I look forward especially to this weekend each winter as the Academy Awards will be presented Sunday night. In 2014 I wrote this post which shares a handful of ways to celebrate and enjoy the Oscars, and admittedly, I never forget to omit watching the red carpet as well, and perhaps enjoyed while sipping some bubbly and just unwinding with something delicious to eat ??.
Below are a few articles and a video I think you might enjoy as the next few days gradually unwind. Thank you as always for taking the time to stop by each week for this regular posting. I so appreciate your interest and hearing from you when you have a moment to share a comment. Until Monday, bonne journée.
~If you will be traveling to Europe beginning in 2021, read and save this article to remind you of one extra “to-do” to put on your list before your trip [The New York Times]
~How to Navigate the French Markets in Paris [La Cuisine Paris]
~I needed to read this article recently, and maybe you do too. If you need some comfort, a reminder of how well you are doing even when your exhausted mind would have you believe otherwise, read this 7 Hard Things You Should Do for Yourself when You Don’t Feel Good Enough (#6 & #7 especially spoke to me) [Marc and Angel]
~Brexit Day has come and begun the 11 month transition of Britain leaving the UK. Discover how Brexit will affect your travel to the UK and Europe [The New York Times]
~A new podcast just debuted from lifestyle guru – cook, decorator and style maven Athena Calderone, More Than One Thing. Be sure to listen to her first episode with Jenna Lyons and next week Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent.
~The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes from The New York Times
~This week’s video: A reminder of why the French’s approach to eating is worth modeling