This & That: March 27, 2020

Mar 27, 2020

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A new set-in-France film, starring two renowned French actresses, a new series set in England, prints from an American photographer living in Provence, books old and new (all of them highly recommended and reviewed), for the baker – a necessity in the kitchen, a guide for what seeds to sow this spring for a delicious summer in the kitchen, spring dresses to brighten your step and much more.


Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath

Released earlier this month New York Times bestselling author Dan Heath “explores how to prevent problems before they happen, drawing on insights from hundreds of interviews with unconventional problem solvers . . . Upstream probes the psychological forces that push us downstream—including ‘problem blindness,’ which can leave us oblivious to serious problems in our midst”. Reacting to problems has never proven to be the best response. Upstream offers “practical solutions for preventing problems” so that we can reduce unnecessary stress and be pleasantly surprised with the positive outcome.

British Find

Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido

Originally published in 1982, when British Vogue contributor Jo Rogers brought this book and the other two novels below to my attention via her Instagram Stories, I took note as I respect here recommendations. Below is a brief synopsis of Brother of the More Famous Jack:

Stylish, suburban Katherine is eighteen when she is propelled into the heart of Professor Jacob Goldman’s rambling home and his large eccentric family. As his enchanting yet sharp-tongued wife, Jane, gives birth to her sixth child, Katherine meets beautiful, sulky Roger and his volatile younger brother, Jonathan. Inevitable heartbreak sends her fleeing to Rome, but ten years later, older and wiser, she returns to find the Goldmans again.

House of Trelawney: A Novel by Hannah Rothschild

If you would like a little bit, but not too much, more bite to your next novel, whilst being set in England, pick up House of Trelawney. Described as both satirical and moving, House of Trelawney is “about an eccentric, dysfunctional family of English aristocrats, and their crumbling stately home that reminds us how the lives and hopes of women can still be shaped by the ties of family and love”.

Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages by Phyllis Rose

Not a novel, but a look at five marriages from the Victorian age, each writers of great renown in their time – Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle, John Stuart Mill, and George Eliot–née Marian Evans, Phyllis Rose’ spotlight into their personal lives looks to be quite intriguing for the Anglophile.


Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes by Dominique Ansel

If you have heard of or enjoyed a cronut, you know, or at least know the work of, French baker Dominique Ansel. His first cookbook, shared here – The Secret Recipes – was released in 2014 and shares “the secret to transforming the most humble ingredients into the most extraordinary, tempting, and satisfying pastries imaginable” . . . as well, he “reveals the stories and recipes behind his most sought-after creations and teaches lovers of dessert everywhere how to make magic in their own kitchens”. Look for his next cookbook to be released next month (don’t worry, I will spotlight it here on an upcoming This & That ;)), but in the meantime, check out his first.

Francophile Find

Chocolate by Pierre Herme

The French and chocolate! If you have been to Paris, you no doubt have been encouraged to visit one of Pierre Herme’s shops – full of chocolate and macarons (they are the best I have ever eaten. Yes, even better than Ladurée!). During my trip to Paris in 2013, I stopped in to his shop on the left bank – see pics and a description of my experience in this post (my apologies for the grainy photographs – and oh, yes, I am excited to pick up this book.

Jamie Beck #isolationcreation Poster Series.

If you follow American photographer Jamie Beck on Instagram (@annstreetstudios), you follow likely for a variety of reasons. It could be your love of Provence, your love of photography, your love of everyday beauty that she includes in her photographs, or maybe her baby girl Eloise. If you do not follow your, and you love even one of these things, you would enjoy h er account. Yesterday, she launched the opportunity for us all to welcome her talent into our homes at a fairly reasonable price – $50. Her #isolationcreation poster series – she creates a new image each day in her home studio – are each available for you to buy complete with the day of “staying home”, the date and a brief description of what inspired the image. If you buy today (Friday), free shipping is available with promo code STAYHOME, and today and every day, 10% of the proceeds will go to the Foundation for Contemporary Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund. I purchased the Day Three print (seen left), and look forward to enjoying it for a variety of reasons – where we find ourselves in this moment in history and being able to help in some small way the creatives who are navigating a different world than they’ve known at the moment.

The Truth

Released to the public last Friday, and debuting last fall at the Venice Film Festival where it won for Best Film, I cannot wait to watch The Truth, or La Vérité (the original title). Receiving an 84% from Rotten Tomatoes, starring Juliette Binoche, Catherine Deneuve, and Ethan Hawke, the story is set in France, but spoken in English (and French), and while the trailer is far more helpful, here is a brief synopsis. The film is centered around a “stormy reunion between scriptwriter Lumir (Binoche) with her famous mother and actress, Fabienne (Deneuve), against the backdrop of Fabienne’s autobiographic book and her latest role in a Sci-Fi picture as a mother who never grows old”. Now to the trailer.


The Cook’s Herb Garden: Grow, Harvest, Cook by Jeff Cox and Marie-Pierre Moin

Whether you grow your herbs in pots, in a garden or on a ledge or window sill, The Cook’s Herb Garden shares “150 different culinary herbs and their varieties, along with more than 30 recipes, step-by-step photographs on how to plant, nurture, harvest, and store, and flavor charts that list the best herbs to partner with popular ingredients”.

The Flower Garden: How to Grow Flowers from Seed by Clare Foster

Released last year, British writer, Clare Foster (check out her garden website Bud to Seed) and photographer Sabine Ruber share the tips and tricks they learned while growing and sowing a vast range of flowers. From Aquilegia to Zinnia, be inspired to grow your own flowers from seed for an inexpensive way to bring an abundance of Mother Nature’s beauty into your home.


Unlocking Us, Brené Brown

Having just premiered, best-selling author and life guru Brené Brown has created her own podcast – Unlocking Us. With three episodes released this far to enjoy, tune in and discover “conversations that unlock the deeply human part of who we are, so that we can live, love, parent, and lead with more courage and heart”.


Equipment Mustard Printed Satin midi shirt dress (on sale)

There is something lovely about this mustard yellow hue, and for spring, it would be perfect for those in-between temperatures.

Joie Black Asymmetric printed silk midi dress

Perhaps for more warmer temperatures, Joie’s polka dot halter dress is playful, yet classic.

Kayu Nala Leather Trimmed Woven Straw Bag (more trim colors available)

Each of Kayu’s bags are “handcrafted by women cooperatives in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, using indigenous techniques that have been passed down through the generations”. There are many more designs, so be sure to take a look, but this one with the sage trim caught my eye immediately.

M. Gemi Sample Sale

Reduced by sometimes 70%, if you are looking for that classic leopard loafer or flat or pump, a beautiful feminine silhouette of a classic flat in navy or gray, and ankle boots as well (see a handful of items I selected below), now is the time to pick them up at Italy’s M.Gemi Sample Sale. I personally have a pair of their black leather pumps and love them. I highly recommend them for a fair price for quality footwear.

OXO Stainless Steel Food Scale

Since we are all spending more time inside, and cookbooks are a great source for comfort and inspiration, baking may be being enjoyed, one item that is much needed in a kitchen that bakes often is a scale. OXO is a reputable brand and this scale comes recommended by David Lebovitz, as well as their timers by Susan Hermann-Loomis. If you don’t have one, this is the one to have.


The English Game, Netflix

I neglected to include the premiere of this new drama series last week when it premiered, so before I forget again, if you are interested in British history and football (aka as soccer here in the states), be sure to take a look at The English Game. With six episodes in the first season available now, take a look at the trailer to perhaps discover a new show to love.

~recipe for Bucatini Pasta with Burrata and Fried Bread Crumbs~

A week of warm sunshine, snow, then frost and now clear blue skies again, spring in Oregon is upon us. Having sowed some seeds for my herb garden last week, upon seeing all but two of the types of seeds pop up over the past few days, my spirits were buoyed immensely. Such a delight to see the growth and strength.

I hope you are doing well amidst all of the changes and limitations of regular routines. The boys and I have enjoyed a walk each day, said hello to our neighborhood birds throughout our days as they nibbled for their meals at the bird feeder and kept busy in the office in the mornings and early afternoons. I have appreciated the time to tinker in the kitchen (if you follow on Instagram, my stories shared how to make croissants this week as well as a chicken with lemon wine sauce recipe I am working on), and am focusing on what I can do, where I can see progress, so that when we are beyond this current situation, I can find something for which to be deeply grateful. So far, one of the many things I am grateful for is the community here at TSLL. I have thoroughly enjoyed staying in contact with you either via your comments on the blog, on Instagram or on FB. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, to share what you love and for helping everyone else as well go through this with a bit more ease and assurance. All will be well mon amies. (I think I have been watching too much Poirot ;).

Below I have rounded up quite a few articles as well as two videos, both of which should bring you a chuckle. Wishing you a lovely weekend, and until Monday, bonne journée.

~Why Happiness IS Truly Just a Choice [Pick the Brain]

~The Ultimate Small Garden Makeover Guide from Monty Don [Daily UK]

~Gardens you can virtually tour from around the globe [House Beautiful]

~Simple cooking tips to help you shop smart while cooking from home [NPR]

~I love this talented chef’s restaurant in NE Portland – Coquine – and she has just shared 10 Delicious Dinner Ideas and Treats You Deserve While You Are at Home [Oregon Live]

~Life in Paris without the Hustle and Bustle at Restaurants [Eater]

~5 Simple Ways to Maintain Mental Strength When the World Seems Crazy [The New York Times]

~A daily updated list of Great Theater, Dance and Classical Music to Tune into While at Home [The New York Times]

~Enroll for Free at Yale’s most popular course on happiness – The Science of Well-Being [Yale]

~A positive outcome of our current situation in Canada – The Caremonger Movement [The Washington Post]

~Nine tips for dealing with uncertainty [NBC News]

~Need a laugh? Are you a Marvelous Mrs. Maisel fan? Then you will love this mash-up of Abe Weissman Being Iconic for 5 Minutes

~Some more fun, Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson Teaching Some Posh British Slang

9 thoughts on “This & That: March 27, 2020

  1. Hi Shannon,
    I can not locate the station that THE TRUTH is on?
    I live in Midtown Manhattan , and I get all of the premium stations.
    I have checked ALL of them.
    Thanks for your assistance. This would be a wonderful film to see this weekend as we are sitting in the apartment.
    I love your site and your books.

    1. Judy, unfortunately, it is a movie that will be out in theaters, so we will all have to wait until it is streaming somewhere. If that changes, I will share on IG. It looks great, doesn’t it? Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  2. I always look forward to your Friday recommendations, Shannon, and especially on a Friday like this. I absolutely adore the #isolationcreation posters. Som much amazing human creativity and new ways of doing things are emerging these days and it makes me very hopeful for the future. Have a lovely, relaxing weekend which, hopefully, will bring you some good gardening weather!

  3. Hi Shannon, I just wanted to tell you how impressed I am with how you keep on top of new content and ideas for your website. I love Brené Brown’s work, and just listened to her first “Unlocking Us” podcast episode. Her comments about dealing with new things in our lives (such as the current pandemic) were very insightful. I never would have heard about her new podcast if it wasn’t for your posting. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into your blog, and the great job you do with your weekly “This and That” recommendations!

    1. Diane, Thank you for your words. I am so happy you are enjoying this weekly posting. It is fun to pull together each week. The curious seeker comes out in me to find all that may be of interest to fellow TSLL readers. Wishing you well. ?

  4. Love it I was looking forward to your list this spring. We watched the English Game, it was very good. Question, do you make your own croissants. If you do would you share the recipe or do a video?

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