This & That: April 8, 2022
Friday April 8, 2022

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A wide array of items this week – a hilarious French comedy, two worth-checking-out documentaries for those who are fans of classical music, gardeners – a book to inspire and teach sustainable practices as you step into this new spring season, French finds from the return of one of my favorite mystery series, a book about salons de thé and clothing to keep you chic as we near summer. Plus a book to shift your mind on what aging actually entails – the mind-shift can actually length and improve the quality of your life. And yep, there is still more!


Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs About Aging Determine How Long and Well You Live by Becca Levy, PhD

I am quite looking forward to this new book which is released on Tuesday. “Yale professor and leading expert on the psychology of successful aging, Dr. Becca Levy, draws on her ground-breaking research to show how age beliefs can be improved so they benefit all aspects of the aging process, including the way genes operate and the extension of life expectancy by 7.5 years”. And it was this aspect especially, that piqued my curiosity about the book – “The often-surprising results of Levy’s science offer stunning revelations about the mind-body connection. She demonstrates that many health problems formerly considered to be entirely due to the aging process, such as memory loss, hearing decline, and cardiovascular events, are instead influenced by the negative age beliefs that dominate in the US and other ageist countries”.

Hello, Molly by Molly Shannon

One of the star comedians on SNL when I was in high school Molly Shannon never failed to make me laugh. And now she has a memoir. Her life began with heartache, but oh what a life that followed. Look for it to be released on Tuesday April 12th.

Write For Your Life by Anna Quindlen

Best Selling author and former New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen’s new book, also being released on April 12th, “argues that there has never been a more important time to stop and record what we are thinking and feeling. Using examples from past, present, and future—from Anne Frank to Toni Morrison, from love letters written after World War II to journal reflections from nurses and doctors today—Write for Your Life vividly illuminates the ways in which writing connects us to ourselves and to those we cherish”. 

British Finds

Sustainable Garden: Projects, Insights and Advice for the Eco-Conscious Gardener by Marian Boswall

One of the magazines I enjoy subscribing to is The English Garden, and its latest issue (May 2022), introduced me to a new book worth exploring – Marian Boswall’s Sustainable Garden, set to be released on April 26th. Have a look at the contents below, and discover a detailed book sharing “every aspect of the garden, from how to create a space and draw up a plan for your sustainable garden from scratch, to advice on boundaries and fences, and guidance on how to ethically source materials to make sure your garden is as environmentally friendly as it is beautiful. This book also contains several projects with easy-to-follow instructions that you can replicate at home, such as creating a frame for succulents to grow in out of recycled materials”.

—Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?

Based on Agatha Christie’s 1934 book of the same name, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? is released this coming Tuesday (the 12th) on BritBox. A three-part series, starring and adapted by Hugh Laurie. Check out the trailer below. Critics are having quite positive things to share.


The Conductor

My weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to watch this documentary of one of the most world renowned classical music conductors, Marin Alsop. I happened to be listening to Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air earlier this week during which she interviews Alsop, and upon simply hearing the introduction, I wanted to watch the film. Find it wherever you stream your favorite films, and check out the trailer below.

Viva Maestro!

The conductors are having a moment this week on TSLL blog, as a new documentary shares “a portrait of the Los Angeles Philharmonic music and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel”. I so appreciated Dudamel during the first handful of months during the pandemic (2020) when he hosted a short weekly series on KUSC of his favorite classical music selections. It was a treat to hear why he chose what he shared. Check out the trailer below and look for it in theaters today.

Francophile Finds

Candice Renoir, Season 4 on AcornTV

On Tuesday April 12th look for the fourth season of French mystery series Candice Renoir to be released on AcornTV. I thoroughly enjoyed season 3, and its final episode definitely left you wondering. Fingers crossed that Antoine will return?

Men on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Oh my laugh-out-loud goodness! This French film looks hilarious and not at all as you might expect. Currently many Alliance Française Film Festivals are including this film in their line-up, so be sure to check in your community to see if and where it is available for viewing. Check out a clip from the film below.

Paris Salons de Thé de Charm by Barbara Kamir (French edition)

I want to thank TSLL’s illustrator, Sarah Lœcker for bringing this book to my attention. She loves tea as much as I do, so sent this title my way as she has found this book helpful for visiting salons de thé in the city of Paris, having enjoyed more than a few first-hand shared in the book. Definitely a resource to pick up for fellow tea lovers.

Where the Light Falls: A novel of the French Revolution by Allison and Own Pataki

While released a handful of years ago to great reception, as my thoughts are on France at the moment, this book caught my eye as one to read during the flight.


2-in-1 Copper Wild Bird Feeder with bottom stand

Shared frequently on the blog and in my new book is my love for my birds and their bird ‘cafés’ as I like to call them. One detail that I love about one of my bird feeders is the bottom stand to catch bird food that falls loose, but also to give the birds, beyond the four on the perches, somewhere to stand that is solid. This one is quite similar to my current one, and I cannot recommend more highly.

Castañar Bendra wedge sandals, black

If you are in need of high quality espadrilles, Spanish brand Castañer is a brand you can trust, and this particular style, caught my eye as I was pulling together Wednesday’s Outfit of the Month post (I included another pair in that post, but had to bring this one to your attention).

Collins Cheese Board, Anthropologie

Life must include cheese (or should I say, fromage!), and having a simple cheese board to carry all of the accoutrements is a great idea. And this one is at a great price.

~Lisa Marie Fernandez brown printed cotton-gauze wide-leg pants

Absolutely beautiful, and as it is a pair of wide-leg pants, comfortable and ideal for travel or wandering about while visiting a market. Just imagine this outfit paired with a straw tote? I can see it already!

~Stella McCartney Brown knotted faux leather belt (35% off)

simple, necessary, stylish | The Simply Luxurious Life

Norman and I went to Portland this week, popped into a nursery and tended to errands in the city. And while we were there, we took a walk through the Nob Hill district, my former neighborhood from nearly 20 years ago. And we found these beautiful camellias. Gorgeous, non?

This week began with ground quenching rain that lasted all day, and it was bliss. Then, the sun came back, and the garden perked up as if to say thank you for the rain, now I can grow. 🙂

I spent yesterday morning adding a few new perennials picked up at the nursery and will be in the potting shed area today potting up my dahlia tubers. I cannot wait to see how they do this year *fingers crossed!*.

This past week on the blog has been full of shopping opportunities, so be sure to take a look at TSLL’s annual Spring Shopping Guide which was posted late last Friday, as well as Wednesday’s post, requested by readers, shopping five outfits worn by Nancy Carroll in the new Murder in Provence series on BritBox. Earlier this week, a new podcast episode was shared and one of my favorite Petit Plaisirs (I await each Thursday night for a new episode of this series!).

If you haven’t already sent a pic capturing a moment of contentment with your copy of The Road to Le Papillon, be sure to email or post on IG by today as I will be compiling the post to go live here on the blog next week. Thank you to everyone who has sent them my way so far. Also, speaking of TSLL’s 3rd book, the Audio version is now available! Find it on Audible, iTunes and Amazon. AND, when it did become available, it took very little time for it too to become a #1 New Release in France Travel. Thank you listeners for your interest in this format!

Well, hello weekend. 🙂 I do hope your week went well. Thank you for choosing to stop by today, and until Monday, bonne journée!

~As the departure date nears, finding markets near our vacation rental in Paris is on my list – and this post from La Cuisine Paris was very helpful – A Market for Every Arrondissement in Paris

~A new month and Monty Don shares his April Advice post!

~Jennifer L. Scott shares a worth-checking-out list of 10 Things Every Adult Should Own.

~A book to pick up for ideas for where to dine in Paris, from the local recommendations [Frenchly].

~A home tour of a historic renovated house in Seattle that welcomes English cozy and marries strong and soft patterns, textures and ideas [House & Garden UK]

~If you will be traveling to France soon, this post from David Lebovitz regarding a Covid update for visitors was helpful to me upon reading it.

~This story began in Paris and stayed in France, how this couple met and married [The New York Times]

~France holds its Presidential election this weekend, the start of two rounds (the second taking place – if necessary, which typically it is, on April 24th). Why do French elections normally have two rounds? [The Local]

~An article to read regarding ovaries, what we know and what we’re learning [The New York Times]

~The 15 Best Paris Boulangeries (this had to be a difficult list to compile 😉 [Eater]

~For HSPs, a post sharing 9 Ways to Nourish Your Heart [The Happy Sensitive]

~The French Open begins in May which then leads into Wimbledon and eventually the US Open, and while tennis is a serious sport, Adam Samberg brings humor in the only way he can to pose in the same way tennis greats appeared in photographs that now are iconic. Watch how the photo shoot came together and be ready to chuckle more than a bit.

Check out last week’s This & That: April 1, 2022

Books for a wide array of interests – exploring French villages, Susan Cain’s much-anticipated second book, the deep exploration of America and the history of the idea of woman, the key fundamentals of cooking by one of the top experts in the kitchen and still more subjects. A spring-inspired clothing sale, a classic French market basket on sale, a new series capturing audience’s attention and much more. 

~Please note: Affiliate links are present in today’s post and may earn commissions for TSLL. View TSLL’s full Privacy Policy here.

11 thoughts on “This & That: April 8, 2022

  1. Hi Shannon, I live in Paris half of the year and here right now. So, while you are in Paris, if you have a free moment to share a pot of tea, I live very close the Pierre Hermé in beaupassage off rue du bac/rue raspail. It would be lovely to meet you in person and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you would enjoy an in-person chat with a subscriber!
    Paris is always a good idea!

  2. I’m loving all of the French inspiration in this weeks T&T, and cannot wait to hear more about your trip!
    It sounds like you have a wonderful weekend in the garden to look forward to, I have some tasks to tend to myself including potting up my own dahlia tubers! Wishing you much success.

    1. Sarah, Happy Friday and weekend! I will be thinking about you this weekend as I pot up my dahlias and imagine what they might do once out in the garden. Have a most wonderful time with your hands in the soil! ☺️

  3. Hi Shannon,
    Have you watched the Spanish film “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios)”? It was released in the late 80s, was directed by Pedro Almodovar, and stars a young Antonio Banderas. I would be interested to see how closely the French film about men on the verge of a nervous breakdown follows the Spanish one of a similar title as a fun experiment!
    Enjoy your Friday!

    1. Allison, it is funny you should share this film. The blog, My French Life made a point of saying it is not the same as the version you shared as it (the Spanish film) evidentially holds fast to stereotypes which she did not applaud. In fact, this new film is being lauded for straying from stereotypes which makes me all the more curious. Keep in mind, I have viewed neither, but am curious to see the film included in today’s post.

  4. Shannon, we are all in-sync, I planted a few dahlia tubers just the other day! I’m not sure if they’ll survive the heat and humidity but what’s life without a bit of hope and adventure,eh?
    These books look intriguing–Breaking the Age Code, Write for Your Life(I NEED this book!), and Sustainable Garden(can one have too many garden books, one asks?)
    Wow. “The Conductor” . Happily for those in the US, it is streaming on PBS through 4/22/2022 @ 11:59 PM EDT. That sorts out this evening’s viewing entertainment!
    Golly those camellias are ?! I’m moving one this weekend to a sunnier spot–morning sun, afternoon shade, good drainage–so hopefully I’ll start seeing some buds soon, if it’s not too late. Ah well, it’ll be set up nicely for next Spring in any event.
    The bird-feeder is just so pretty, that company really produces the best birding accessories on the market, and the pricing is soooo reasonable.
    Off to check out Monty Don’s post–have a wonderful weekend everyone! Happy Spring!! XOXO

  5. Thanks, Shannon. A lovely T&T!

    My favourites:
    – The Conductor;
    – Viva Maestro! – Dudamel is a pretty unique conductor. His New Year’s Concert with the Vienna Philharmonic was one of the best I have seen.
    – Men on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – I watched “Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios” (a long time ago), and I guess – from the trailer – that this goes in a different direction.
    – Knotted leather belt
    – Bird feeder and cheese tray.

    I wish everyone a splendid week! 🙂

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