This & That: April 12, 2024
Friday April 12, 2024

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The title quickly caught my eye, and when I explore further as to what exactly The Age of Magical Overthinking was about, I further became intrigued. Released last Tuesday, Amanda Montell “delves into a cornucopia of the cognitive biases that run rampant in our brains, from how the ‘Halo effect’ cultivates worship (and hatred) of larger than life celebrities, to how the ‘Sunk Cost Fallacy’ can keep us in detrimental relationships long after we’ve realized they’re not serving us. As she illuminates these concepts with her signature brilliance and wit, Montell’s prevailing message is one of hope, empathy, and ultimately forgiveness for our anxiety-addled human selves. If you have all but lost faith in our ability to reason, Montell aims to make some sense of the senseless. To crack open a window in our minds, and let a warm breeze in. To help quiet the cacophony for a while, or even hear a melody in it.” Listen to an interview with the author on Fresh Air that aired earlier this week.

I will admit, I saw the word ‘butter’, and my appetite perked up. ☺️ However, this novel has become quite a favorite of readers around the world, and it goes far deeper than just being about food. First becoming a cult Japanese bestseller, Asako Suzuki’s Butter is now an international bestseller and is inspired by a true story.

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Learn more about the plot here.

Being released on April 16th, MicroSkills is “built on one core, easy-to-learn principle: every big goal, complicated task, healthy habit, and, yes, even what we think of as character traits, can be broken down into small, learnable, skills that can be practiced, and incorporated real-time. We call these: MicroSkills.”

The authors, both award winning physicians, educators and mentors, share the secrets of what exactly these MicroSkills are — “How to build your career without breaking yourself, how to manage your task list to get work done, how to build and maintain your professional reputation, how to become a subject matter expert, how to grow and nurture your network, how to become a better communicator and more.”

The power of rituals is not a new topic for TSLL readers as it is something we talk about, explore and regularly encourage welcoming into one’s life (explore the many posts and episodes here), so I was delighted so see that science backs up this approach when Dr. Michael Norton shares in his new book (released this past Tuesday) The Ritual Effect. “Drawing on a decade of original research, Norton shows that rituals play a role in healing communities experiencing a great loss, marking life’s major transitions, driving a stadium of sports fans to ecstasy, and helping us rise to challenges and realize opportunities. The Ritual Effect reminds us of the intention-filled acts that drive human behavior and create sur­prising satisfaction and enjoyment.” I look forward to reading the book. ☺️ (surprise, surprise)

Being released this coming Tuesday, Anthony Horowitz is back with a new book in one of my favorite modern day mystery series – Hawthorne and Horowitz. Close to Death is book #5 in the series that is set in modern day London. So what’s the plot?

“Riverside Close is a picture-perfect community. The six exclusive and attractive houses are tucked far away from the noise and grime of city life, allowing the residents to enjoy beautiful gardens, pleasant birdsong, and tranquility from behind the security of a locked gate. It is the perfect idyll, until the Kentworthy family arrives, with their four giant, gas-guzzling cars, gaggle of shrieking children, and plans for a garish swimming pool in the backyard. Obvious outsiders, the Kentworthys do not belong in Riverside Close, and quickly offend every last one of the neighbors.

“When Giles Kentworthy is found dead on his own doorstep, a crossbow bolt sticking out of his chest, Detective Hawthorne is the only investigator they can call to solve the case.” And of course the fictitious character – i.e. doppelgänger, of Anthony Horowitz tags along, and the smart, swift story-telling begins. I cannot wait to read it.

I sat down to begin this limited series, Mr. Bates and the Post Office earlier this week as I have heard so much in the British news about the true events of this hard-to-believe-it’s-true story that has been ongoing for the past couple of decades. Described as one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in British legal history, British TSLL readers will no doubt already know about this scandal that upended numerous lives, and now this series brings it to the screens. Have a look at the trailer below and watch new episodes each Sunday night on PBS Masterpiece.

Having begun reading The Queen of Poisons earlier this week, chapter one immediately hooked me, and only because my eyelids demanded some sleep, did I finally put it down. If you enjoy Death in Paradise (books or the tv series that now has 13 seasons with a 14th on the way) or Beyond Paradise that is airing its second season now on BritBox, then you will enjoy the Marlow Murder Club series as it is written by the creator/co-creator of the Death in Paradise and the spin-off series, Robert Thorogood. And in fact! This series is being adapted for television with the first book coming to PBS Masterpiece later this year.

Wahoo! Wahoo! Wahoo! I had heard that Rita Konig would be offering a second online video interior design course with Create Academy quite some time ago, but I didn’t know when it would become available, and now we do! You may remember, I took the first course she offered, the first course CreateAcademy EVER offered, back in 2020 (read the detailed post of what I learned here), and it really did guide, inform and inspire so many of the decisions and approaches I made/took during the 3+ year customization of Le Papillon.

I cannot wait to enroll in her new course which will open for enrollment April 23rd. Learn more about the course here and take a peek inside the two homes she will be using as her classrooms – one is her London apartment that she remodeled over the past two years.

I learned about this book after reading a review in one of my weekend newspapers, and quite liked the aspects of exploration of the power of solitude and Mother Nature on those who realize the gifts available following a departure for urban life. Specifically, the book, Rural Hours, focuses on three English writers who found such gifts – Virginia Woolf (1917), Sylvia Townsend Warner (1930) and Rosamond Lehmann (1941).

Harriet Baker looks closely at the power of the rural environment on each of the women. “Slowly, we start to see transformations unfold. Invigorated by new landscapes, and the daily trials and small pleasures of making homes, they emerge from long periods of creative uncertainty and private disappointment; they embark on new experiments in form, in feeling and in living. In the country, each woman finds her to convalescence and recovery; to sexual and political awakening; and, above all, to personal freedom and creative flourishing.”

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Being released on Tuesday, April 16th, if you have ever wanted a cookbook to use as planning each of your weeks throughout the year regarding menus, this might just be what you are looking for. Milk Street 365 is a “comprehensive guide to today’s recipe repertoire, full of fresh flavors and simple yet game-changing techniques. Milk Street 365 is both inspiration and reference for the contemporary kitchen, with recipes that will change the way you cook at home—from soups, stews and salads to flatbreads, pizzas and noodles.”

You may know Carissa Stanton from her popular IG account @BroccYourBody who started sharing her favorite recipes of all things broccoli, but also so much more. “Now, Carissa shares how cooking for yourself after a busy day of work can be just as exciting as relaxing with friends over cocktails and apps. Seriously, So Good reflects her philosophy of feeling good about what she’s cooking and eating by making smart choices without depriving herself of carbs or a splash of cream here and there. She wants to remove the anxiety around food by helping us all feel more confident in and out of the kitchen. She shares her recipes and balanced outlook to motivate others to experience an stress-free cooking approach while enjoying mouth-watering meals alone or with loved ones.

“The 100 flavor-bomb dishes, which are approachable, nourishing, and always fun, include all-time favorites such as her viral Greek-Style Lemon Chicken Soup, a better-for-you take on fast food with her “Fried” Chicken Sandwich with Special Sauce.”

Sounds delicious. I may just have to explore all the way to the kitchen. 🙂

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Andrew Scott stars as Ripley in the remake of the 1999 cult classic film titled The Talented Mr. Ripley that brought together Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow, and this go-round the film is simply titled Ripley, AND it is filmed in black and white . . . and . . . critics think it is all the better because of this throw-back videographic approach (read NPR’s review here). The plot? “A grifter named Ripley living in New York during the 1960s is hired by a wealthy man to bring his vagabond son home from Italy.” Have a look at the trailer below and watch it now on Netflix.

A fantastic tote not only because of the modern take on the French national motto, but also because when you purchase this tote, Clare V. donates 30% to Every Mother Counts. Sold and sold!

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Taking us back to France in 1776 in the months and years of diplomacy leading up to the events that would solidify the founding principles and freedoms of the United States, we follow the life of Benjamin Franklin, played by Michael Douglas.  Embarking on a secret mission to France, “Franklin carries the fate of American independence hanging in the balance into his hands”, an outcome that could have had dire consequences for him and the founding fathers if all did not do as they had hoped (execution for treason). The series begins April 12th and includes eight episodes, one airing each Friday. Listen/Read a review of the limited series here.

A worth-knowing-about French clothing brand, Rosaé makes available timeless French classics for the modern day woman, and it is their chasseur jacket that offers reminders of the classic Chanel bouclé suit that when paired down with jeans is a stylish ensemble for everyday.

In this month’s Outfits of the Month (4): Thinking of Early Summertime in France, I shared oodles of linen finds from Everlane, and one item that is also not to miss is their Tread-Bare sneaker which was included in Harper’s Bazaar‘s best sneakers to wear for style and support. Available in two different color options – ivory/or blue mix, the sneaker is described as über light-weight. As well, the shoes are made from recycled cotton canvas with a 100% natural latex rubber outsole and recycled trims a of which Everlane describes as the “lowest carbon-impact sneaker ever—producing only 4.78 kg CO₂e per pair”. Save 15% off your first purchase when you stop by and pick up a pair.

This one in navy ended up in my shopping cart, and with the 30% off using the promo code SHOP30, it is now on its way to my closet. I couldn’t help myself! Available in all three different sizes – petite, tall and regular, this 100% linen dress comes in all sorts of colors and sizes. I have put my name on the waitlist for the oatmeal tall size as these colors will never go out of style and linen worn in summer whether in Bend or France, is a must-have in the summer closet. Happy shopping!

Me + Em Heavy Satin Statement Cargo Pant, Champagne

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A comfortable pant with style and an elevated touch of chic.

Roanoke Metal Bistro Chairs and Table

Spending more time outside has begun and setting up an outdoor table and chairs to beckon us outdoors is a lovely idea. As I am styling my own area with this vision in mind (look for a tour of this “room” in my garden in July), I came across this table and chairs that while looking to be rattan are actually made of metal. Timeless, a look of a French bistro or café and definitely creating an invitation to spend a few more hours outside relaxing.

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Slingback Espadrille Tan

An espadrille that covers the toes, but lets your foot breathe. I like this hybrid idea very much. 🙂


Ahhh, the tulips have begun to put on their show here at Le Papillon! These Salmon Impression tulips caught me by surprise yesterday morning as I was filling up the bird bath, and I scurried back inside to grab my camera to capture them as the sun rose.

Look for a video of the garden in Monday’s monthly Garden post for TOP Tier Members where I will share what is blooming as well as include a full video tour of my trip to Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm last week.

Speaking of being a member, whether you are curious about becoming a BASIC or TOP Tier member, mark your calendars! TSLL’s Annual Membership Sale, yep, it only happens once each year!, is taking place next Thursday April 18th and running through April 21st (Sunday), and you won’t want to miss it, as each tier will be reduced offering permanent savings (so long as you keep your membership active) for the duration of your membership.

That means, for the first time, BASIC memberships will be reduced for four days only, which is a wonderful budget-saving way to enjoy unlimited content here on TSLL (that includes all of the This & That posts, the Style posts, all of the posts during French and British Week (minus the giveaways), all of the Monday Motivational posts, etc.). Learn more about each of the Tiers and the many benefits here. And if you love the blog, but want to get rid of the ads, oh my goodness, reading sans-ads is an entirely new and awesome experience – swifter load times and uninterrupted reading – one of the oodles of benefits when you become a TOP Tier Member. Okay, enough, enough, I know. Back to this week’s This & That (but seriously, don’t forget to scoop up this once-a-year-savings opportunity ☺️).

What will you be up to this weekend? Well, here at Le Papillon, with an abundance of gardening tasks I am eager to dive into along with books, books and more books, I must say, a weekend at home sounds quite lovely. Add fresh croissants on Sunday, walks with the pups all weekend long and waking up to the birdsong in the morning, and I am over the moon with giddiness for this weekend’s arrival. 🙂

Whatever your weekend calls you to do, I hope you have a most nourishing and rejuvenating time doing so. From curiosity filled outings of discovery, delicious meals that tickle the tastebuds and mixed amongst it all buckets full of everyday moments to savor, bon week-end! Thank you very much for stopping by today and below are a few articles and one video I thought you might enjoy. Until Monday, bonne journée.

~A tour to enjoy! A spring garden in the Cotswolds full of tulips. I am really loving the Tulipa ‘Florosa’ and as I just planted Spring Green tulips last year and have had Lady Janes for years, I delighted in seeing them in this list :). [Gardens Illustrated]

—Taking notes! David Lebovitz shares his favorite Paris restaurants.

~One more from David, he interviewed the author of the newly released French memoir – The French Ingredient, Jane Bertch . (shop her book here)

~The Summer Olympics will be here before we know it! July 26-August 11th — Eight breathtaking venues for the Paris Olympics [Earful Tower]

The power of feelings of awe for HSPs, but also for everyone else as well. [Sensitive Refuge]

~What to plant in April and other gardening tasks [House & Garden UK]

~The best times of the year to visit Paris [Frenchly]

~On my to-do list this coming week is to fill my front porch pots, and Gardeners’ World is sharing 20 plants for pots and containers. Perfect timing for you as well?

~A poem for gardeners as we find ourselves in April, National Poetry Month – The Ceaseless Murmuring of Innumerable Bees [The Paris Reveiw]

~Something to ponder the next time you are looking to vent your worries onto someone else’s day – When it Comes to Venting [Positive Prescription]

~A spring-inspired pasta recipe – Creamy Asparagus with Mushrooms, Lemon and Pecorino [Saveur]

~How to cultivate a positive mindset [Zen Habits]

~A classic Burberry trench. If you’ve always wanted one, the investment will be one that will pay off having done so myself about 7 years ago (here’s the post about the Kensington I decided upon and love). Who What Wear (UK) wrote a detailed post about all of the options to keep in mind when buying your Burberry trench.

~Well, this film, that will be released this summer looks like fabulous fun to watch and is based loosely on actual events many of us probably didn’t know about, all the more opportunity to add a bit of humor since what took place never happened (or needed to happen, I should say. Fly Me to the Moon. Look for it in July and rest assured, I will include it in a future This & That on the weekend of its release.


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10 thoughts on “This & That: April 12, 2024

  1. Another fabulous post, Shannon! It’s been pouring buckets here in Vermont all week (but at least the snow is all gone!), and a bit dreary – This & That was a nice bright spot in my morning! Our bulbs are a few weeks behind yours, so it was nice to see your beautiful tulips.

    Snagged one of the Capitaine dresses – thanks for the head’s up! Love an easy linen shirtdress in the summer. NB for others: dresses from JCrew tend to run quite big, especially the linen ones, so consider sizing down (I’m no waif, but this is one of the few brands from which I have to order an XS or it looks like I’m wearing a belted parachute – ha!).

    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Melissa,

      Thank you for stopping by and tickled to know T&T brought some sunshine to your day! Ah! And thank you for the heads up about the sizing. That is very true, and was noted by customers who bought this dress in the reviews. I appreciate your reminding us all. 🙂 Linen, as you said, is ideal in the summer especially in a dress that is easy to slip on and wear – comfort (i.e. breathability) and style!

      Have a wonderful weekend and may your tulips when they bloom delight you and bring many smiles. 🙂

  2. Wasn’t Jude Law In the 1999 classic Ripley movie…rather than Brad Pitt? The new remake is remarkable and beautifully shot in black and white.

    1. Donna,

      Oh yes!! 🤦‍♀️ I clearly haven’t watched the original in far too long and wrote off memory! Dare I say they remind me of each other? 🙃 I gave myself away. Thank you for catching my error and gently bringing to my attention. I have corrected the post. 😌

  3. Good morning, Shannon.

    It is a beautiful sunny day after torrential rains and everything seems invigorated. I too had a surprise when one rose bloom last weekend turned into 11!

    I have also been following the unimaginable story of the post office scandal and can’t believe it has taken so long, and a film, for these innocent people to get heard. I have read mixed reviews about Ripley being filmed in B&W, however after watching the trailer I think it may add to the intrigue. Fly Me To The Moon looks like a must see. My husband’s grandfather was convinced the landing was all a hoax until the day he died😁

    The Le Pépin jacket is certainly a classic and capitaine shirtdress perfect for summer (I ordered it in flax).

    Like you, I will be spending the weekend in the garden, and hopefully will finally begin a book I’ve had since Christmas.

    Have a glorious weekend.


    1. Michelle,

      Good morning! Lovely to see you on Friday! 🙂 And your burst of roses – wow! That is awesome. 🙂 Wishing you a wonderful weekend pottering in the garden and losing all track of time in your much anticipated reading of the book. Sounds like a fantastic weekend to me. 🙂

  4. Dear Shannon, those tulips are glorious and perfectly named. Mr Bates is a must watch, and has finally brought this awful scandal to light. My husband and I watched it over Christmas and couldn’t believe what had occurred. The ongoing public inquiry is exposing our beloved post office as being a terrible organisation.
    I like the look of the everlane trainers as I could do with a comfortable shoe for days out. And, hopefully this weekend we may have enough dry weather to mow the lawn. Your weekend sounds fun and relaxing. Pats to the pups. X

    1. Hello Nicola ☺️
      Thank you for sharing your experience with watching this series on the Post Office scandal. I am so sorry to hear that it happened.
      Those shoes really do look like a good pair of out-and-about comfortable, yet fun shoes. I too was drawn to them when I discovered they offered a bit more support because as we know, when we walk about doing our things throughout our days, we are on our feet for quite some time.
      Here’s to sunny days so you can be outside and enjoy the garden and mow the lawn! Still waiting here to mow; however, I love this time of year as just yesterday we had a lovely full day of rain and it seems all of a sudden the grass grows five inches (I exaggerate, but only a little 😉). Love seeing everything bounce back after the winter.
      Wishing you and Hamish wonderful excursions exploring and thank you for stopping by. 😌

  5. It is always a pleasure to peruse T&T on the weekend!

    What caught my eye:
    – The Age of Magical Overthinking
    – Mr. Bates and the Post Office
    – Ripley – I am an admirer of Mr. Scott work, so I am looking forwrad to see this.
    – Le Pepin chasseur jacket – simple and elegant, or shall I say, simple and spphisticate? ;-
    – Capitaine Shirtdress in Linen – ditto, ditto!
    – The Ceaseless Murmuring of Innumerable Bees – I really enjoyed this text and was very 🙁 when it was not possible to finish it…
    – Creamy Asparagus with Mushrooms, Lemon and Pecorino – yum… this sounds interesting enough to give it a go… tonight?…
    – Fly Me to the Moon – “…what took place never happened…” that’s intriguing, Shannon! I might have to watch this film now. 😉

    I have liberated my containers from their winter “outfits” and that was my gardening task for the weekend. I am now enjoying a well deserved break, with a cup of tea and the perusal of T&T! Thank you, Shannon, have a lovely weekend and lots of fun in the garden – by the way, beautiful tulips! Give many hugs to Nelle and Norman from my part! XO

    1. Hello Isabel! Tickled to hear the garden beckoned and you had a chance to potter about a bit and begin welcoming the season. No doubt the containers are happy to say hello to spring and will be sharing their beauty soon.

      Thank you for sharing all that caught your interest and thank you for the compliments on the tulips. ☺️🌷 So tickled to have them in the garden this year and thinking continuing as well as adding a few more is in the cards for the future. 😌 If the pasta dish made it into your menu this weekend, I hope it was as delicious as it sounded.

      Wishing you a lovely Sunday and thank you again for stopping by. 💛

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