This & That: April 30, 2021

Apr 30, 2021

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Films, books, classic spring capsule wardrobe items, unique and signature items for the home, an abundance of British-finds as TSLL’s 3rd annual British Week is only a few weeks away and still there is much more.


How to Change: The Science of Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Katy Milkman

Being released next Tuesday (May 4th), award-winning Wharton Professor and Choiceology podcast host Katy Milkman’s new book explores why setting audacious goals, fostering good habits, and creating social support in order to create the change you seek hasn’t worked. “Drawing on Milkman’s original research and the work of her dozens of world-renowned scientific collaborators, How to Change shares an innovative new approach that will help you change or encourage change in others. Through case studies, engaging stories, and examples from cutting-edge research, this book illustrates how to identify and overcome the barriers that regularly stand in the way of change.” 

Susan, Linda, Nina and Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR by Lisa Napoli

When I learned of esteemed news journalist Cokie Roberts passing last year, my heart was heavier than I understood at the moment. When I listened Nina Totenberg’s memoriam of her dear friend and the country’s Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this past September, I appreciated her ability to balance the personal and the professional as I always do each time her segment airs, and yet I didn’t know these two women along with Susan Stamberg, who had lived in India with her husband who worked for the State Department and Linda Wertheimer, the daughter of shopkeepers in New Mexico who fought her way to a scholarship and a spot on-air played the significant role they did to found NPR. I look forward to reading Lisa Napoli’s book which examines how even after the Civil Rights movement in 1968, women in the workplace still found themselves relegated to secretarial positions or locked out of jobs entirely, even moreso in the news business. Released earlier this month, explore how four women stepped into a seemingly small crack of an opportunity and “blew the door off its hinges”.

British Finds

The Bookshop of Second Chances: A Novel by Jackie Fraser

Being released next Tuesday (May 4th) Jackie Fraser’s debut novel centers around “a woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly aloof bookseller.” Sounds intriguing!

Elizabeth & Margaret: Love and Loyalty

A couple of weeks ago I came across this documentary on Netflix which debuted last year. While I have viewed and read bits and pieces about the Windsor sisters – Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret – this film, Love and Loyalty, is worth watching. Sharing precisely how close the two sisters were from birth to Margaret’s death, perhaps you too will enjoy it.

Land Girls, AcornTV

With three seasons to enjoy and available through Amazon Prime, Land Girls is set in WWII England. A BBC period drama capturing the Women’s Land Army’s high and lows whether with regards to the war itself or personal relationships, have a look at the trailer to see if you may have just found your next British-themed series to savor.

Patch Work: A Life Amongst Clothes by Claire Wilcox

Clothes historians and anyone who loves fashion, be sure to check out Claire Wilcox’s memoir – Patch Work. Released this past January, Wilcox worked as a curator in Fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum for most of her working life. In her book, she “stitches together her dedicated study of fashion with the story of her own life lived in and through clothes. From her mother’s black wedding suit to the swirling patterns of her own silk kimono, her memoir unfolds in luminous prose the spellbinding power of the things we wear: their stories, their secrets, their power to transform and disguise and acts as portals to our pasts; the ways in which they measure out our lives, our gains and losses, and the ways we use them to write our stories.”

Village School (Fairacres series, book #1)

The author of the Fairacres series, Mrs. Dora Saint (1913-2012) used the pseudonym Miss Read. “A former schoolteacher, she was beloved for her novels of English rural life, especially those set in the fictional villages of Thrush Green and Fairacre. The first of these, Village School, was published in 1955, and Miss Read continued to write until her retirement in 1996. In the 1998, she was awarded an MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire, for her services to literature.” A cozy read, and a series to boot!


Chairish, one of my go-tos for unique finds

As I have been customizing my home over the past 18 months and not able to shop in-person or travel, I have taken to the internet to explore consignment and antique sites. Charish has quickly risen to the top of my list for anique and vintage pieces. My new-to-me office desk (to be shown soon when the office is done later this summer), a small chandelier for my closet and a mahogany tea table (seen below) where all found on Chairish and none required me to pay full price. Barter, barter, barter!

Needless to say, if you want to add a touch of signature, be sure to explore Chairish, and who knows what you will find at a steal of a deal. (Now, don’t get me wrong. The initial prices may floor you, but I offered 60% below asking price for my desk and I they accepted! It never hurts to ask.)

I have shopped a few items for you below, but be sure to check out their entire site.


The $50million Art Swindle

Now streaming on BBCSelect (available through Amazon Prime), a documentary about an American art swindler to boggle the mind. “Michel Cohen was a high school drop-out who rose to become a top art dealer. He sold paintings by Picasso, Chagall and Monet to America’s elite. But after running up debts, he swindled his customers out of more than $50 million and then went on the run. The FBI couldn’t find him, but filmmaker Vanessa Engle tracks Cohen down and persuades him to tell his extraordinary story.” Have a look at the trailer below.

Percy vs. Goliath

“Based on real events from a 1998 lawsuit, the film follows a small-town farmer who takes on a giant corporation (Monsanto) after their GMO’s interfere with his crops. As he starts the fight against them, he realizes he’s like thousands of other disenfranchised farmers around the world all fighting the same battle. Suddenly, he becomes an unsuspecting folk hero in a desperate battle to protect farmers’ rights and fight corporate greed.” Christopher Walken stars as Percy Schmeiser, with Christina Ricci, Luke Kirby, Zach Braff, Martin Donovan, and Adam Beach. Read The New York TImes‘ review in which they describe the film as an “underrated environmental drama” and check out the trailer below.


The Flower Yard: Growing Flambouyant Flowers in Containers by Arthur Parkinson

If you are viewer of Gardners’ World, you know Arthur Parkinson for his tulips in containers whilst living in the city of London and his chickens. Now he has a book, and it looks absolutely delightful. “This is gardening done entirely in pots, yet on a grand scale that will inspire anyone who wants their doorstep or patio to be a glamorous and lively canvas that nurtures them visually and mentally. From jewel scatterings of crocus, flocks of parrot tulips and scented sweet peas to galaxies of single dahlias, towering giraffes of amaryllises grown inside for winter and endless vases of cut blooms through the seasons.” Read Country Living UK’s profile piece on the book’s debut, and follow Parkinson on IG below.


Club Monaco Asymmetrical Dress

A trusted brand offering timeless, yet subtly modern styles, Club Monaco’s asymmetrical dress is fresh, yet effortless.

Club Monaco Circle Cuff Bracelet

Again, simple, yet a statement for today.

Naadam Striped Cashmere Oversized Boatneck Sweater, Navy

While I have not done much clothes shopping this past year, when I see something that speaks to my capsule wardrobe and I am confident it will last for years both in style and quality, I scoop it up. Naadam’s cashmere striped sweater fit this description (and my reaction) to a “T”. Having arrived Wednesday, the sweater is sumptuously soft and with the discount, the price was quite nice. Shop the entire site here and save 30% with promo code FRESH30.

Theory Eyelet Cotton Sleevless Dress

I love everything about this dress – summer, fresh, classic and versatile for day or evening.

~recipe for TSLL’s Rustic Frangipane Rhubarb Tart~

It’s hard to believe April is all but wrapped up, but sure enough May arrives tomorrow, and it sure felt like it yesterday here in Bend. With low 80 degree temperatures, my plants are going to be happy with the coming warm days, and I am thrilled. My cherry trees are just about ready to reveal their pearl blossoms, and I cannot wait to savor their beauty this weekend. I also cannot wait to make the above recipe with fresh rhubarb from the garden which is ready to be harvested for the first time this season.

I hope you had a wonderful week. It has been a busy week here on TSLL beginning last Saturday with exciting news shared about a new chapter in my life in the Saturday Ponderings . . . post (all the details will be shared to all readers and listeners here on the blog and podcast in June and again in September. More specific detail will be shared in tomorrow’s A Cuppa Moments, so be sure to explore becoming a TOP Tier subscriber to tune in. Also, the much anticipated primary bedroom reveal went live here on the blog this past Wednesday, and Norman will give you the tour :). As always, the monthly favorite post – What Made Me Smile This Month, So Far . . . was shared yesterday, and a post to usher in the fresh new person you are more than you may realize was shared this past Monday – Spring Clean Your Life & Home: Editing Your Life to Reveal Your Evolutions – 10 Ideas to Try.

The weekend will find me making a quick trip to Portland – something I thoroughly enjoy especially during the shoulder seasons with all of the seasonal color on display (before I forget, does anyone know of any French-theme bloggers who live in Portland?). Then I will be home, and savoring the garden, snuggling in and reading. I hope you have a wonderful two days ahead of you and thank you for stopping by. If you haven’t already subscribed to the free monthly newsletter which will go out to subscribers in a couple of hours, be sure to do so in order to not miss a post, along with much more (learn about the newsletter here). Until tomorrow when the monthly A Cuppa Moments video chat is posted here on the blog, bonne journée.

~Now this article will make you smile and speak to your classical music predilection if you are like me – When the Cellos Play, the Cows Come Home in Denmark [The New York Times]

~An English garden designer’s tips for a small outdoor space [House & Garden UK]

~Five misconceptions about friendly introverts [Introvert, Dear]

~Speaking of embracing our true introversion – Six Reasons I Love Being An Introvert [Introvert, Dear]

~2 Types of post-pandemic socializers [The Atlantic]

~My mouth begins to salivate just thinking about French brioche: The Short History of the Popular Sweet Bread [Paris Unlocked]

~The Oscars may have had their lowest viewing ratings ever, but Regina King’s dress was one of my all-time favorites for its artistry, femininity and unique take on a red carpet gown [Vogue]

~Soon, soon, soon! Vaccinated American tourists may be able to visit Europe this summer [The New York Times]

~Specifically, France may be welcoming vaccinated Americans as early as this summer [CNTraveler]

~What exactly is a Vaccine Passport you may be wondering? It’s not as complicated as it sounds [Afar]

~How to find more time for the meaningful work you love to do [Zen Habits]

~Why walking is the most underrated form of exercise [NBC News]

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5 thoughts on “This & That: April 30, 2021

  1. Another fabulous list! the Bookshop of Second Chances and Elizabeth and Margaret, jumped out at me.
    As well as Percy Vs Goliath, I really enjoyed Dark Waters which is a similar theme Of the little person taking on the corporate giants.
    Arthur Parkinson’s container gardening book is definitely one for me, I have a large patio and love flowers in pots so this will be a help! Although this weekend I plan to cut in my first border in my front garden – wish me luck!
    I look forward to a Cuppa Moments tomorrow. Have a great weekend x

  2. I cannot wait to see “Percy vs Goliath” that looks fantastic and Christopher Walken is amazing. Getting some tomato and pepper plants in their containers today, as my seeds did not cooperate for the most part..sigh. My lettuce however, is fantastic and I am super excited because I tend to just transition all my plants to heaven…:) My daughter’s college (!) graduation is on Monday and it is online. Not thrilled about that but super proud as she is Summa Cum Laude at an honor college! Next up, law school! I will cheer just as loud at home! Enjoy your weekend!

  3. Hi Shannon, could I ask about the pen clips featured in the “French Exit” photo on Instagram? I feel like I may need them.

    Love seeing all of your French Box loot. I have it too, and it’s a simple pleasure to use such lovely items.

    What do you think of “French Exit”? I found it marvelously, deliciously written. I wish the movie version would go ahead and stream already!

  4. I adored the Land Girls! Another wonderful but short lived WWII series called “The Bomb Girls” is worth a watch. Percy vs Goliath will be worth the watch I’m sure. I’ve read about some of Monsanto “strategies” over the years. Our farmers are struggling.

    Looking forward to Cuppa Moments to start May off right!

  5. Hi Shannon – I was amazed that you had found D.E. Stevenson, and now Miss Read!! I have read almost every book that both ladies wrote, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. I learned so much about life in England and Scotland from the 30’s through the 60’s. I first found D.E. Stevenson in the library when I was 21, and her books are so lovely and cozy.

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