This & That: April 28, 2023
Friday April 28, 2023

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So many summer clothing finds for leisurely, everyday and stepped up style, a French film that received wide-spread acclaim and awards. Looking for that perfect French-inspired bistro table and chairs? I have found a couple of them for you and in an array of colors. Three décor books full of inspiration based on the aesthetic that speaks to you, a new partnering up with a highly revered fashion designer in her first ever home collection, a book about trailblazing women we know from history from around the world and the walks they took, a chic tote ideal for summer and spring, and a new limited-series premieres on PBS Masterpiece that looks to be a lot of fun and with a fabulous cast. Still there is more!


A Welcoming Elegance by Suzanne Rheinstein

A few new decor books were released this spring that caught my eye, and the first one in today’s T & T was released on March 23rd from California interior designer Suzanne Rheinstein, A Welcoming Elegance. Known for her prioritizing of “refinement and clarity as well as her love of objects from the past”, in her newest rooms, displayed in her new book, “stylish modernity and an elegant simplicity hold sway.” Take a glimpse of her home in Montecito, California, here to discover her aesthetic and welcoming style.

Windswept: Walking the Paths of Trailblazing Women by Annabel Abbs

I want to thank TSLL reader Karen H. for recommending Annabel Abbs’ book Windswept: Walking the Paths of Trailblazing Women earlier this spring as upon reading the summary that is part historical inquiry and part memoir, I immediately put it into my cart and look forward to reading it soon. “Abbs follows in the footsteps of women who boldly reclaimed wild landscapes for themselves, including Georgia O’Keeffe in the empty plains of Texas and New Mexico, Nan Shepherd in the mountains of Scotland, Gwen John following the French River Garonne, Daphne du Maurier along the River Rhône, and Simone de Beauvoir―who walked as much as twenty-five miles a day in a dress and espadrilles―through the mountains and forests of France.”

Chosen as a Smithsonian Top Ten Best Book About Travel of 2021, a 2022 Banff Mountain Book Competition Finalist and an Apple Books Pick of the Month as well as a Powell’s and The Story Exchange Best Book of Fall, it might just be a book that speaks to you as well.

The World At Your Table: Inspiring Tabletop Designs by Stephanie Stokes

In her second book, highly respected New York interior designer Stephanie Stokes’ The World At Your Table “features transporting tablescapes set with evocative, eye-catching, and exotic items she has gathered over the years through her many travels. To enliven her tabletops, Stokes creates experiences in miniature using china, glassware, linens, candlesticks, and cutlery from such widely different destinations as Japan, Cartagena, Budapest, and London”. Get to know her designs on her website.

British Finds

Absolutely Beautiful Things: Decorating Inspiration for a bright and colorful life by Anna Spiro

I want to thank TSLL reader Toni for recently recommending Melbourne-based interior designer Anna Spiro to me. Spiro’s love for patterns and prints and mixing them up so masterfully was a delight to find. A kindred spirit! And her most recent book was just released in the states on March 7th. Absolutely Beautiful Things “shows you how to create an interior that’s just right for you. To her, it’s all about the mix, not the match, and, with her help, you’ll find beauty in unexpected places. She’ll give you the confidence to put together a layered and very individual home using elements you love, and make you see your old belongings in a new light”. It will not surprise you that her book, this book, is now en route to my house. I look forward to read it soon! You can explore her website and portfolio of projects here.

John Lewis Anyway Camden 2-seater Garden bistro set (four color (options)

Recently in a House & Garden UK article, it was revealed (or pointed out) that six home tour features, mostly by Ben Pentreath include this bistro table and chairs. That in and of itself isn’t noteworthy. What is noteworthy is how inexpensive it is. For fewer than 120£, you can order yours and pick it up or have it delivered if you live in the UK (unfortunately, they do not ship to the states, but don’t worry, American shoppers, I have you covered – scroll down a ways for a find I think you will find very comparable.)

Available in four different colors, wouldn’t this be inviting if placed out in the garden? Yep, many an hour would be enjoyed. Of that I have no doubt.

Tom Jones, PBSMasterpiece

Finally! So initially, I thought this new limited series (four episodes) would run in late March, but now, we know it will premiere this Sunday on PBS Masterpiece. Critics are enjoying this new tv adaptation of Henry Fielding’s 18th century novel that tells the comedic and often satirical tale of, you guessed it, Tom Jones. Emmy winner Hannah Waddington (Ted Lasso) also makes up this cast that co-stars alongside the lead of Tom Jones, played by Solly McLeod and the woman who captures his heart played by Sophie Wilde. Take a look at the trailer below and enjoy!


An Everlasting Meal Cookbook: Recipes for Leftovers from A-Z by Tamar Adler

Already a National Bestseller after having been released in March, Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal Cookbook: Recipes for Leftovers from A-Z is a collection of simple recipes that utilize all kinds of leftovers—perfect for solo meals or for feeding the whole family.

Just looking at the Table of Contents, I am more than intrigued.

Adler “offers more than 1,500 easy and creative ideas to use up nearly every kind of leftover—and helpfully explains how long each recipe takes. Now you can easily transform a leftover burrito into a lunch of fried rice, or stale breakfast donuts into bread pudding. These inspiring and tasty recipes don’t require any precise measurements, making this cookbook a go-to resource for when your kitchen seems full of meal endings with no clear meal beginnings in sight. Organized alphabetically and filled with foods across the spectrum—from applesauce to truffles and potato chip crumbs to cabbage—this comprehensive guide makes it easy to flip through so you can find a use for all types of unused food.”


Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

For decades, author Judy Blume refused to have her book Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, be adapted into a film. Well, no more! With a young, up and coming lead Abby Ryder Forston starring as Margaret, and Rachel McAdams starring as her mother, (Cathy Bates stars as Margaret’s grandmother and her part looks to be a hoot!), if you loved the book in your younger days, this films looks quite lovely to watch. Also, if you were a fan of Blume’s many books – for children and/or for adults, you will want to watch the documentary that was released last Friday Judy Blume Forever. Discover where much of her inspiration for many of the books came from, and discover what it was like as a child growing up in the 50s and then a woman stepping into her own during the women’s liberation movement in the 60s and 70s. I have watched just over half of it so far, and enjoyed it immensely. Have a look at the trailer for the movie below.

Rare Objects

Kate Holmes directs and co-stars along with Alan Cummins in the new film Rare Objects that brings to the spotlight mental health. Centered around “a young woman who seeks to rebuild her life when she takes work at an antique store, she (Purva Bedi) regains her confidence from the kind souls who own the shop, until those from her traumatic past begin to resurface. Critics are so-so about this film, so I will let you decide. You may want to read New York Times’ review of the film as it points out the heaviness of the film that they didn’t feel had to be so intense for so long. Take a look at the trailer below and find it in theaters now.

Francophile Finds

Fermob Metal Bistro Chair, set of 2 (multiple colors)

I promised I would find something similar in the states, and here it is! Fermob. Francophiles already know that the company Fermob is behind the ubiquitous green chairs seen in all of Paris parks. They make oodles of designs for outdoor tables and chairs, and one of their more affordable designs is seen here. Available in more than 20 different color options, if you want an outdoor chair that can withstand rain and sprinkler systems and just weather in general, Fermob makes the chair you want.

On my garden porch, I have two of their chairs and a café table (a different style), and I can attest, the quality is superb, which what you are paying for. Pottery Barn has this entire set (chairs and table available – see below) and a very nice price. Welcome spring and summer!

Un Beau Matin (One Fine Morning)

Léa Seydoux stars in a French film released last year that critics are praising for her performance. Un Beau Matin (One Fine Morning) centers around a young woman who lives with her eight-year old daughter and whose father is suffering from neurodegenerative disease is struggling to secure a decent nursing home. Along the journey of her search and overwhelmed by frustrating and grief, she runs into an unavailable friend with whom she embarks on an affair.

The film won and was also nominated for numerous awards, including winning Cannes’s Best Film award in 2022. Take a look at the trailer below and look for it in theaters or streaming now.

The Perfume Collector: A Novel by Kathleen Tessaro

While published ten years ago, Kathleen Tessaro’s wildly successful novel is worth noting if you haven’t already read it. The Perfume Collector takes readers to 1950s London and 1920s Paris, New York and Monte Carlo. Have a look at the synopsis below:

“Newlywed Grace Monroe doesn’t fit anyone’s expectations of a successful 1950s London socialite, least of all her own. When she receives an unexpected inheritance from a complete stranger, Madame Eva d’Orsey, Grace is drawn to uncover the identity of her mysterious benefactor. Weaving through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London, the story Grace uncovers is that of an extraordinary women who inspired one of Paris’s greatest perfumers. Immortalized in three evocative perfumes, Eva d’Orsey’s history will transform Grace’s life forever, forcing her to choose between the woman she is expected to be and the person she really is.”

On Rue Tatin, in-person cooking classes have resumed! (Paris and Normandy!)

Well, this news just made me smile when it arrived in my inbox this week. Susan is back offering in-person cooking classes as she used to prior to the pandemic. Wahoo! She has updated her offerings as well with one day classes – go to the Paris markets with her!, to a few days of cook for specific types of occasions: Elegant Haute Cuisine, Tradition and Regional, and focused workshops on anything from sauces to appetizers to perusing the markets, if you will be traveling to Paris or Normandy anytime this year and want to cook, I highly recommend taking a class from Susan having enjoyed attending two – a single evening and a week-long class (Normandy) – on my own.


Altuzarra Watermill Bag, large (many designs)

Just in time for summer travel, a tote that is classic in its design, but unique in its style.

Another Tomorrow, Spring Sale

Another Tomorrow exists to realign the relationship between humans and Mother Earth for the curious, compassionate global citizen seeking elevated, thoughtful design, education, and tools for advocacy. And to have a taste of their high quality and conscientious clothing, why not first explore their Spring Sale that is drastically marking down classic designs. We’re talking up to 50%. Below are a just a few items I have hand-selected.

The Fold, Laura Dress French Navy, stretch tailoring

A London based brand, The Fold is all about embracing your femininity in classic style, and this dress is tailored, yet offers comfortable style as well. (available I cornflower blue and red also)

 —Frank & Eileen Linen Shop

When it comes to dressing for summer, I am all about acquiring quality linen pieces, and Frank & Eileen has an entire corner of their business dedicated to linen clothing.

The classic button-up shirt (in oodles of colors and prints)

SHOP the Linen Shop:

Monique Lhuillier + Pottery Barn

Fashion designer Monique Lhuillier, known for her exquisite evening and wedding gowns has partnered up with Pottery Barn to bring her first home collection. From dining and tableware items, to bed and bath, be sure to explore all that she offers (of which there is much, and if you gravitate toward lemons, you’re in luck!).

The item that immediately captured my eye was this handwoven basket. Available at an affordable price, I know I would put it to good use for bringing and serving items at the table, and the design is unique, but also offers a sturdy function as well.

With May 1st just around the corner, and the day in France where Lily of the Valley takes center stage, I found these Lily of the Valley Cotton Napkins, now on sale.



Good Night, Oscar, Broadway

You know Sean Hayes from Will & Grace, well now he has taken to the stage as Oscar Levant. Stemming from Levant’s regular appearances on Jack Paar’s popular late-night talk-show, it’s 1958, and who is Paar’s favorite guest? Character actor, pianist, and wild card Oscar Levant. Fill with humor and sorrow, the show began in Chicago and was met with great praise. Combes’ performance is receiving positive reviews and the show is now Broadway. Look for tickets if you will be in New York City, and have a look at the trailer below.

Time on the porches has begun at Le Papillon!

Yesterday afternoon I captured this pic of the pups on the garden porch, a choice that has been instigated regularly by either Norman or Nelle as while I work in the office, I leave the garden porch door open for them to go out as they please, and before I know it, one or both of them will be out soaking up the sun happy to leave me inside to my work. Of course, this is my invitation to move my work to the porch, which I happily do most of the time if I can.

The warmth this week has been wonderful, and it seems the garden is an entirely different space compared to just two weeks ago. The sprinklers have been turned on, and even just following the first regular good drink of the season, the lawn and plants changed in their hues to ones that were more vibrant and vivacious. ~A quick story about the sprinklers and Ms. Nelle: When she first saw them, she barked and barked profusely! “What is this thing that prevents me from going onto my grass that I enjoy romping about on?” Showing her by placing my hands and feet in the sprinkler that it wouldn’t hurt her, she was cautiously satisfied, and then carefully stepped out on the lawn to explore. She has made peace with the sprinklers. All is well now.~

The birdsong has been splendid as of late, and so we began Thursday after our walk by sitting on the front porch swing (I was on the swing, they rested on the rug below) with tea and just eased into the day. I am ready for this time of year most definitely.

This weekend will welcome time in the garden, lunch with a friend and reviewing my French as classes resume on Monday. And speaking of Monday, as it will be May 1st, a new A Cuppa Moments will be shared with TOP Tier Members and I have some exciting news to share with you! This particular news will be shared at the very end of the video, and I do hope you will be as excited as I am when you hear. With that said, happy Friday and thank you for stopping by today. Wishing you a wonderful weekend, and below are a couple of videos I think you might enjoy – get ready for some belly laughs and some fabulous style – along with many articles to explore. Until Monday, bonne journée.

~If you are about to embark on a kitchen renovation, the advice shared in this article is worth exploring – The Golden Rules for a Kitchen Renovation [House & Garden UK]

~Cornwall is a destination (within of which there are oodles, I realize), I have always wanted to visit, and one visit has to be the beaches. The Best Beaches in Cornwall [H & G]

~But who are we kidding, there are amazing beaches throughout and all over the UK – Here is a list of the best beaches and seaside towns in the UK. Okay, TSLL readers living in the UK or having lived in the UK, do you agree with this list? Would you add any? [H & G UK]

~Speaking of the UK, someone who is returning to the British Isles after spending eight years in the US hosting his popular late late show, is James Corden, and here is one of my favorite regular segments he created and that will be much missed – Crosswalk the Musical. One of my favorites: here is their rendition of Frozen with the stars of the show!

~Ruby Warrington’s new book was included in last week’s This & That, Women Without Kids and her podcast was the primary inspiration. I think this episode especially is worth listening to – Where does ‘baby fever’ really come from?

~Speaking of women without kids and loving life, Linda Rodin gave an interview with Cup A Jo last week sharing her beauty uniform.

~I will be taking notes from this article as we have a few bald patches in the yard to fix – How to Improve Your Lawn in 12 Weeks [Gardeners’ World]

~A great list to save and remember: Paris on a Budget: 30 Tips from a Local [Hip Paris]

~Simplify Habits: Get to the True Heart of Change [Zen Habits]

~So, so true! Why introverts need alone time to be creative [Introvert, Dear]

~Sometime in June! And Just Like That returns with its second season. The trailer was just released, and not to rush through May at all, but when June arrives, oh, I will be ready to enjoy the return of this cast!

~Explore last week’s This & That: April 21, 2023

If you thought last week’s This & That was full, get ready for an even more abundant T & T this week! So many varying finds beginning with a new art exhibit in Paris not to miss and only open for a couple more months (it has to do with Monet, but not the one you think!), staying in Paris, a must-see film for Francophiles and classical music lovers, books on all sorts of topics – a delicious looking novel set in France, two new murder mysteries, a book sharing how science is changing when it comes to personalizing how to best take care of ourselves, décor books for budgets across the spectrum, a book for all you childfree women out there (count me amongst you!), and three cookbooks. And that is just the books! Rachel Leigh Cook stars in a new movie that takes her to Vietnam and introduces us to her co-star that I think will have you turning on your televisions to watch, a sale of note for timeless footwear and handbags, a couple of spring capsule wardrobe items that offer an effortless, yet chic style and a new series starring Kathryn Hahn based on the best-selling collections of work by Cheryl Strayed. Yep, you know what I am going to say next, there is still so much more. Enjoy!

~Please note: TSLL is supported by you, readers who take the time to stop by (merci!), peruse and sometimes welcome into your life mentioned and recommended finds. Affiliate links are present in today’s post and may earn commissions for TSLL when you purchase. View TSLL’s full Privacy Policy here.

27 thoughts on “This & That: April 28, 2023

  1. Good morning Shannon, lovely post today, so much to enjoy. It’s raining here today (it’s England, ‘nuf said). Can you believe we’re off to the Seaside? If we let the weather dictate our lives we’d never leave the house! I have family from France staying for two weeks and am stretching the days as far as they will go, we’ll climb the steps to the Abbey at Whitby, buy rock for them to take home as gifts and enjoy fish and chips dodging the seagulls, can’t wait. Have a wonderful weekend everyone, very best wishes, Sue.

    1. It’s raining here too but I agree you have to go and sometimes the weather can surprise you. Whitby is a brilliant spot and probably more atmospheric when it’s drizzly. Have a lovely day.

    2. Your weekend sounds like one that will be full of memories made to savor, literally and figuratively 🙂 Thank you for letting us peek into a quintessential British weekend. It sounds right up my alley. 🙂 Enjoy!

    3. Enjoy your visitors Sue ! I hope the weather will pick up for you , but know you will have wonderful time anyway 🙂I’m hoping to get out into the garden to play with my pots ……fingers crossed we won’t have more frosts , because I would really like to create some summer displays 🙂
      Have a lovely weekend
      Anne x

  2. Shannon, another interesting selection. My favourite beaches are on the Isles of Harris and Lewis. The sand is white and the sea turquoise but no tropical temperatures. 😀. Have a delightful weekend. X

    1. Nicola,

      Thank you very much for sharing your favorite beaches. I am taking note! :)Your description caught my interest immediately. Have a lovely weekend and thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  3. Good Morning from Paris Shannon! As usual, you gave me so many great ideas of what to read (Windswept immediately was put on my book club list), watch (so many) and do (signed up for the Kensington Palace Crown to Couture exhibit) and of course, our homes ( downloaded the Kitchen Renovation article as I’m moving into a “new”apartment that has a kitchen from the 70’s). I also enjoyed the article Why Introverts Need Alone Time to Be Creative. It’s nice to get an affirmation of our needs. Thank you, thank you!! I always feel more positive and energized after reading Friday’s This & That. It’s truly a spirit booster!! Sharri

    1. Sharri,

      Bonjour! Thank you for stopping by today and congratulations on your new apartment. An exciting time to imagine and bring to fruition a new kitchen. Doesn’t Windswept look wonderful? I cannot wait to read it as well. Thank you very much for your kind words about T&T. Grateful this weekly post brings joy and discoveries that delight. Bon week-end!

  4. I did just want to share another (and much lower cost, although I’m sure lower quality) option for the bistro set. I purchased this from Amazon in Peacock Blue after Everyday Parisian recommended it and for $120 for the whole set it’s been a delight — even after we purchased “nicer” deck furniture, we have kept it out because we love having a little spot for two people to drink their tea!

  5. Good morning. Each Friday’s This & That is filled with such inspiration. I’m hoping to drive an hour for the book tour/signing of JOIE: A Parisian’s Guide to Celebrating the Good Life by Ajiri of Paris-based Madame de la Maison. I enjoy my Saturdays at home, but I’m feeling inspired to change it up. Happy weekend to all!

    1. Thank you stopping by Penny! And what a wonderful opportunity to meet Ajiri. She has an exquisite eye and her new book sounds lovely. Have a lovely Saturday and thank you for sharing. 🙂

  6. Happy Friday kindred spirits! Just got back from my morning walk before the temps hit 91 degrees here in Sacramento. Whew! I totally agree with Sue from the UK, I’d be housebound if I let the weather dictate.
    Shannon, thanks for the mention of the book Windswept ☺️. I hope you find it an interesting read. I shall spend my Saturday morning exploring all the goodies in this post today. Can’t wait for Season 2 of “And Just Like That”. This week I binged the series “Transatlantic” on Netflix. Not sure if you have mentioned this one on This and That. The short series is based on a true story of a rescue mission in France during WW2. Enjoy swinging on your front porch, Shannon, and take in the beauty of your new plantings. 🪴. Xo Karen H.

    1. Karen,

      Thank you for stopping by and yes, we are going to have a warm weekend here on the west coast, aren’t we! 🙂 Isn’t Transatlantic great! I mentioned it on a T & T a couple weeks ago because I raced through the entire series and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for the reminder for readers. It is one to check out! Have a great weekend and enjoy the sunshine! 🙂

  7. Hi, Clare here from England, I loved the beach article – Padstow in Cornwall is fabulous but so so busy in peak season. My favourites are Mudeford in Dorset which has fabulous little beach huts and Spey Bay in Scotland which is a great place for a whisky tour holiday! The beaches of the Isle of Man are also gems!

    1. Clare,

      Thank you very much for sharing! I was wondering about how busy some of these were is they are the most sought after beaches. That is helpful to know! Thank you for stopping by and wishing you a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  8. I have the Fermob cafe table and chairs, and I can attest that the quality is excellent. I have a narrow and small galley kitchen in NYC, and they fit perfectly. So if you have a tight spot but you want a place to sit and eat, this is a great option.

    1. Jenna,

      Thank you very much for sharing your experience with this brand. That is my experience as well. The investment up front is steep, but it’s a lifetime investment as they hold up and look great for oodles of years.
      Thank you very much again and for stopping by!!

  9. Happy weekend everyone! Ah, the pups have the right idea, a nice lounge in the (very welcome!) sun. Which I will happily do as well tomorrow, as it’s a bit misty today, and of course I’ve visited the garden centers because there are ALWAYS corners and nooks and hanging baskets that can be filled😄! (Oh! The zinnias that I grew from seed have begun flowering! It worked!!) I adore Sean Hayes. ‘Good Night, Oscar’ looks absolutely brilliant, hopefully a filmed performance will make its way to PBS or Netflix in the future.
    So much good stuff to enjoy in this week’s T&T, thank you Shannon, I look forward to delving in!💚🐝🌼

      1. Happy gardening Rona 🙂 our weekend weather here in the UK has been a bit mixed …rainy today , but yesterday was lovely , and I managed to sit out in my swinging ‘egg’ chair with a nice cuppa and my book . I’m looking forwards to being able to do this regularly when we have some sunny days …..we have a Bank Holiday tomorrow, and of course it is The Coronation next weekend, with another Bank Holiday Monday , so OT’s to celebrate.
        Have lovely week
        Anne x

        1. Spring is so effervescent with her weather, coolish and rainy in the AM and then absolutely gorgeous in the PM, I love it! So glad to hear you are back in your Egg Chair, enjoying the loveliness outside! Fingers crossed for a bit more sun & warmth for your week ahead. And my clock will be set to 5am to enjoy The Coronation from the beginning, history in the making, so looking forward to it all! Wishing you a wonderful week, Anne! xo Rona

  10. You really are spoiling us this weekend Shannon 🙂……a great Friday post with lots of lovely links to follow, a Saturday Post and then a Cuppa Moments on Monday !
    So many things to enjoy , thank you .
    Your garden is blooming beautifully , you must be so pleased to see the results of your garden planning .
    I have Gardeners World to catch up with later, as I didn’t manage to watch it live this Friday ; it always inspires me to get outside and refresh the garden 🙂
    I had the patio cleaned last weekend , it looks so much better ! and I took advantage of having to move all the pots beforehand to have a rethink about where I put things , so have changed a few things around when putting the pots back again .
    I have some lavender cuttings to repot , and would like to get some summer planting done ( inspired by Sarah Raven’s beautiful collections of plants for pots ) but need to be sure that we have had the last of the frosts before planting anything tender .
    Have a wonderful week everyone, look forward to catching up with you on the Cuppa Moments tomorrow .
    Best Wished from the UK
    Anne x

  11. A lovely treat this month Shannon. I think the Everlasting meal cookbook should be on all our shelves. Not too fond of the term’ left overs’ It needs a new title. I’m investing in new garden furniture this year. My current set has lasted me well over 22 years and my eye are on a Fermob set but I’m waiting for the summer markdowns which happen early in France so there will still be quite a bit.of summer left. Kameela😊

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