This & That: March 26, 2021
Friday March 26, 2021

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Spring clothing items to brighten your wardrobe, a cookbook full of non-recipes, France is found in a variety of places – television, books, cookbooks and more, the documentary many people have been eager to watch, and still so much more.


28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

Released last summer to tens of thousands of positive reviews, best-selling author Elin Hilderbrand writes a novel “based on the classic film Same Time Next Year. 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.” Throw in a Presidential run, Nantucket, deathbed instructions to a son, and yep, the plot becomes rather interesting indeed.

Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History by Richard Thompson Ford

“For centuries, clothing has been a wearable status symbol; fashion, a weapon in struggles for social change; and dress codes, a way to maintain political control . . . In Dress Codes, law professor and cultural critic Richard Thompson Ford presents an insightful and entertaining history of the laws of fashion from the middle ages to the present day, a walk down history’s red carpet to uncover and examine the canons, mores, and customs of clothing—rules that we often take for granted. After reading Dress Codes, you’ll never think of fashion as superficial again—and getting dressed will never be the same.”

A Year at Clover Brook Farm: Gardening, Tending Flocks, Keeping Bees, Collecting Antiques, and Entertaining Friends by Christopher Spitzmiller

Released earlier this month, explore renowned ceramicist Christopher Spitzmiller’s year of sustainable living. Sharing “advice and inspiration for seasonal entertaining, gardening, tending heritage chickens, and more.” Readers will discover the book to be “organized into four sections by season. Spring: the lilacs and appleblossoms, the dovecote with Indian fantail pigeons, Easter lunch, with daffodils and porcelain, and Spitzmiller’s recipe for rhubarb pie. Summer brings hydrangeas, dahlias, readying the chickens for the Dutchess County Fair, and a garden cocktail party. Fall focuses on collecting, cider making, an orchard luncheon and a Thanksgiving table, honey-gathering, and planting bulbs. Winter closes the book with holiday decorating, gilding allium, a holiday buffet, and homemade gifts.” A Year at Clover Brook Farm looks like a wonderful gift to someone you love or to yourself especially if they or you enjoy working with Mother Nature and the seasons. 🙂

Your Time to Thrive: End Burn-out, Increase Well-Being, and Unlock Your Full Potential with the New Science of Microsteps by Marina Khidekel

Just released this past Tuesday, Your Time to Thrive eschews the “trendy self-care fixes or the latest health fads”, and presents itself as the “revolutionary guide to living and working based on Microsteps–tiny, science-backed changes. By making them too-small-to fail, we can incorporate them into our daily lives right away, and begin building healthier ways of living and working. With chapters dedicated to sleep, nutrition, movement, focus and prioritization, communication and relationships, unplugging and recharging, creativity and inspiration, and purpose/meaning, Your Time to Thrive shares practical, usable, research-supported mini-habits that will yield huge benefits and empower people to truly thrive in all parts of their lives.”

British Finds

Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters by Andrew Morton

Being released on Tuesday March 30th, Elizabeth & Margaret explores the “[the royal sisters’] cloistered early life, through their hidden war-time lives, into the divergent paths they took following their father’s death and Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne, this book explores their relationship over the years. Andrew Morton’s latest biography offers unique insight into these two drastically different sisters—one resigned to duty and responsibility, the other resistant to it—and the lasting impact they have had on the Crown, the royal family, and the ways it adapted to the changing mores of the 20th century.”

Six Minutes to Midnight

Premiering today wherever you stream your favorite films, Six Minutes to Midnight is based on a true story set in England just days, even minutes, before Britain enters into WWII. Critics are torn, but needless to say, the plot is intriguing as WWII movies have been aplenty, but none have this particular plot. Judi Dench stars alongside James D’Arcy. Have a look at the trailer below.


Miss Maggie’s Kitchen: Relaxed French Entertaining by Héloïse Brion

Recently introduced to Héloïse Brion through Sharon Santoni’s video chats on IG, I was intrigued to learn more about this American expat living in Northern France whose name isn’t Maggie. 🙂

Her cookbook, released this past fall, is stunning. With photographs captured by Brion’s husband, Christophe Roué, Héloïse “shares more than eighty laid-back recipes for every occasion, including her beautiful table settings that are festive and welcoming. Her simple, authentic, and tasty cuisine includes winter squash soup with porcini crostini, cherry tomato pizza, veal stew, clementine and pistachio cake, and a rosemary-rhubarb cooler.” Discover “the charm of Miss Maggie’s Kitchen, where retro and modern culminate in the ultimate comfortable elegance.”

New York Times’ Cooking No Recipes Cookbook by Sam Sifton

Cooking without recipes is an absolute game-changer. Doing so doesn’t mean you can’t use a recipe to learn a new trick or idea, but it does free us up and remind us to simply let the seasonal ingredients guide us.

“Sam Sifton delivers more than one hundred no-recipe recipes—each gloriously photographed—to make with the ingredients you have on hand or could pick up on a quick trip to the store. You’ll see how to make these meals as big or as small as you like, substituting ingredients as you go.”



Premiering today on HBO Max, the new documentary of music legend Tina Turner is worth checking out. Have a look at the trailer below.

Francophile Finds

My Stylish French Box, The Art of Cocooning (May 2021)

Ah! The cozy continues into spring with Sharon Santoni’s latest announcement of the upcoming My Stylish French Box. Of course, with the contents French-inspired, no doubt they will be beautiful and sumptuous along with offering wonderful comfort. Reserve your box now so as not to miss out.

Perfect Murders, French mystery series

Last month I shared a list of six Cozy French Mystery series to watch and I neglected to add this one (I will update the post this weekend). There is only one season so far (18 episodes), and there is a varying cast (much like Murder In . . . ), but what makes this series absolutely a joy to watch is the counter-balance between the grisly murder (which is revealed in full – who committed it as well) right as the episode begins with the personable and quirky sleuths. Each pair of detectives are playful, witty and unique in their life choices. All of them have a character to appreciate and fall in love with, all the while knowing they are savvy enough to reveal the motive by the end of the hour-long episode.

So why would this series be considered a cozy mystery? Spoiler alert, which will ease your mind: the person who is murdered will be someone you will loathe upon finally learning the true motive. À la! A key component to qualify as a cozy mystery. Check out the trailer below.

Provence Glory by François Simon

Released this March and full of incredibly gorgeous photography to sweep you away to the south of France into the Luberon and surrounding area, Provence Glory is an investment, but worth it if you know a Francophile who will appreciate it. Jamie Beck’s photographs along with many other talented photographers are included in this book, and you can view many of the images here.

A Table in Paris: The Cafés, Bistros and Brasseries of the World’s Most Romantic City by John Donohue

Another recently released Francophile book to have to inspire your next trip to France (and much more affordable) is a contributing illustrator for The New Yorker John Donohue’s A Table in Paris. Having the opportunity to receive an advance copy, Donohue’s illustrations are simply delightful and his book shares known as well as less well-known places to visit and pass many an hour during your next much-anticipated trip to the City of Light.


J.Crew Spring Sale, 40% off

Spring is here and a wardrobe update may just be in order. Save 40% off new items when you use promo code GOSPRING. And be sure to stop by TSLL next Thursday when the annual Spring Shopping Guide is released. No doubt many of the items shopped below will be included.

Tory Burch Patos Multi-Strap Sandal, 25% off

Spring is here and summer is coming. These sandals make a statement but can also be worn to really walk and get about – similar to Tropezienne sandals (my favorite summer sandal). No promo code necessary, sale rules through March 28th.

Vince Stone Dot Short Sleeve V-Neck Dress, silk

Simple, beautiful, comfortable and a nice way to ease into the evening after a formal affair or attire worn at work.

A week of many ups and just a few small downs and beautiful daffodils that cannot help but make you smile. Yep, I will be sharing my British Gamble daffodils in April’s A Cuppa Moments as they are all abloom and easing the days when spring fades back into winter momentarily. I hope to tend to much sowing this weekend as I kept losing track of time this past week working on other projects. A lovely dilemma, but those seeds need to be sown! 🙂

The monthly newsletter will be released in just a few short hours to keep you up-to-date on all that was shared this past month (subscribe for free here) as well as give you a glimpse ahead and share an exclusive letter from the editor (moi). It’s hard to believe we have made our way through a year navigating the pandemic, but we have. And as often is the case, the largest hurdle is met right before we reach where we wish to go. Hang in there, and know we are making tremendous progress.

From waking up tomorrow and watching a new episode of Gardeners’ World, to tinkering in the kitchen to enjoy a new dessert and trying to just find time to lose all track of time, I am looking forward to the weekend, as even on a holiday, the blogging keeps me quite busy and concluding the week well helps elevate the weekend to just be. Wishing you a wonderful weekend to revel in what makes you smile this time of year wherever your life schedule finds you, and until Monday, bonne journée.

~Discover how one introvert found meditation the key to helping her thrive [Introvert, Dear]

~The new rules of socializing in France [The Local]

~Interior design experts share how to ensure a wonderful night’s sleep [House & Garden UK]

~The basics of gardening that everyone needs to know [Middle-Sized Garden]

~How to overcome a fear of failure [The Atlantic]

~I am looking forward to taking this Masterclass on Well-Being and Meditation and Mindfulness [Apple News]

~How being productive starts with doing nothing . . . worth reading even if you’re doubtful [WSJ]

~Upcoming English gardeners to know in 2021 [Veranda]

~Oprah announces her New Oprah Daily [Oprah magazine]

~The rare foreign tourist seeing a very different side of Paris [The Local]

~A lovely and thought-provoking short video sharing Esther Perel’s Love Lexicon | The Simply Luxurious Life

10 thoughts on “This & That: March 26, 2021

  1. Oh my goodness – Same Time Next Year with Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn is my favorite movie ever! I didn’t know there was a book inspired by the movie. #ordered

    1. Deborah, I do hope you enjoy! It is supposed to a wonderful book. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and also sharing with us the stars of the aforementioned film. What a star-studded cast! 🙂

      1. It really is a sweet movie. Technically the premise is a couple being unfaithful, but really it’s about the enduring power of love in all its manifestations, including marriage.

  2. 28 Summers sounds right up my street, I shall definitely have to read that. I’m also keen to read the Clover Farm book, I am very eager to learn how to live more seasonally so I think that’s one for the wish list.
    Six Minutes to Midnight looks fascinating, the actor who seems to play the spy is a well known British comedian named Eddie Izzard, they are a fascinating person (I believe they use they/their pronouns) and have a lot of accomplishments.
    I too look forward to enjoying Gardeners World tomorrow morning and sipping a cup of tea before hopefully getting out into the garden.

    Have a lovely weekend Shannon

    1. Sarah, Thank you for the introduction to the Eddie Izzard. 🙂 Doesn’t Clover Brook Farm look like a lovely read. I am excited to read it as well for similar inspiration. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

    1. Paris is calling isn’t it! 🙂 I am thinking like you, dreaming of Paris in the spring of 2022. The time to visit safely will come. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and have a lovely weekend.

  3. Six Minutes to Midnight is on my list now! I love Eddie Izzard and of course, Dame Judy Dench! Looks interesting! I am starting to gather up my checklist for spring cleaning and to dos and as I write this, am very excited because they just opened up for us to get vaccines. I could have gotten one in January, as I am a volunteer receptionist at the police dept, but I didn’t feel like it was fair at the time because I knew I couldn’t go back in to help until my son was back in person at school. Which, ta-da, will be Monday! He is excited to go back and I am happy knowing he will be back in a “normal” routine. It will be oddly quiet around here again, after a year, but will busy myself with spring cleaning and projects and repairs. Have a great weekend!

  4. Shannon, what is your reading routine? I know it’s personal for everyone, but you seem able to read a great deal. (I know some of the books you mention are passed along with a review or recommendation, but still…) I long ago gave up my rule about finishing every book I start; if I really don’t like it I’ve given myself permission to move it along to someone else. Life is too short! Still, there are so many piles of books in my house!! A word of guidance?

  5. A delightful list Shannon. Like Deborah ‘This time next year’ is one of my favourite films. Have seen it so many times .Do have a look. The Clover Farm book sounds like something I would enjoy. Have you heard of ‘Patina Farm’? An architect and interior designer couple. It’s similar in that they enjoy intentional living and they have a collection of animals on a beautiful property in California .The decor is French antique inspired and sourced personally. Tina Turner is on my list .A true legend. Visited the Britanny coast at the weekend and it was so sad not a table out on the terraces. The restaurants were inventive and offered take outs. We’re hoping that by mid April we’ll know if re-opening will commence .Bonne semaine.

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