This & That: February 10, 2023
Friday February 10, 2023

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Two new rom-com films just in time for Valentine’s Day, an eclectic collection of new book offerings – a memoir set in Paris in the mid 20th century, a book to improve your sleep holistically, food and political history, a memoir about a guard who worked in the Met for ten years and still there is more to read! Also, bring Paris to your breakfast table – yes, it is possible and affordably so! A new exhibit is opening up in the City of Light and a British series that has been named one of the best dramas ever by critics across the board. Clothing as well – on sale and prepping us for spring. And still, there is much more.


All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me by Patrick Bringley

Being released on Tuesday, a former New Yorker staffer who spent a decade as a museum guard, Patrick Bringley’s book All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me. The famed New York museum becomes Bringley’s “home away from home for a decade. We follow him as he guards delicate treasures from Egypt to Rome, strolls the labyrinths beneath the galleries, wears out nine pairs of company shoes, and marvels at the beautiful works in his care. Bringley enters the museum as a ghost, silent and almost invisible, but soon finds his voice and his tribe: the artworks and their creators and the lively subculture of museum guards—a gorgeous mosaic of artists, musicians, blue-collar stalwarts, immigrants, cutups, and dreamers. As his bonds with his colleagues and the art grow, he comes to understand how fortunate he is to be walled off in this little world, and how much it resembles the best aspects of the larger world to which he gradually, gratefully returns.” Sounds wonderfully fascinating!

Dinner with the President: Food, Politics and a History of Breaking Bread at the White House by Alex Prud’homme

Food biographer (you may remember Prud’homme as being Julia Child’s great nephew who co-wrote her memoir My Life in France), Alex Prud’homme’s new book, Dinner with the President was just released this past Tuesday and sounds to be a deliciously curious read. “Prud’homme invites readers into the White House kitchen to reveal the sometimes curious tastes of twenty-six of America’s most influential presidents, how their meals were prepared and by whom, and the ways their choices affected food policy around the world. And the White House menu grew over time— from simple eggs and black coffee for Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and celebratory turtle soup after and squirrel stew for Dwight Eisenhower, to jelly beans and enchiladas for Ronald Reagan and arugula for Barack Obama.” History and cuisine, I am in.

Hello Sleep: The science and art of overcoming insomnia without medications by Dr. Jade Wu

Also released this past Tuesday, Hello Sleep, a book to explore especially as we know how vital a good night’s sleep is to our overall quality of life. “Dr. Jade Wu, an internationally recognized behavioral sleep medicine specialist, walks you through the science of how the brain sleeps (or doesn’t); shares stories from the clinic of real people’s journeys to better sleep; and lays out a step-by-step program for overcoming insomnia and letting go of sleeping pills. Using her years of clinical expertise, she problem-solves your common pitfalls, soothes your anxieties, and tailors recommendations for your special sleep circumstances (e.g., pregnancy, menopause, chronic pain, depression, etc.).”

It’s Not About the Money: A Proven Path to Building Wealth and Living the Rich Life You Deserve by Scarlett Cochran

Being released this coming Tuesday Scarlett Cochran’s new book It’s Not About the Money. A book to explore if any of these ‘rules’ sound familiar – Don’t buy that five-dollar coffee! Debt is terrible! Live below your means! But if following them have just never ‘paid off’, Cochran’s approach is different. If you want a latte every day, go get it. You can have your lattes and your millions, too. Have big goals for your life, like buying your dream house, traveling the world, or leaving a meaningful legacy for your family? Your money can make all of that possible for you—and more. Cochran can help anyone, even those who think they’re ‘bad with money,’ define their personal path to building wealth their way, including how to: redefine wealth; change your money story; expand your money capacity; define your version of a rich life; and create your money practice.”

Vintage Contemporaries: A Novel by Dan Kois

Released this past January, Slate editor Dan Kois makes fiction debut is a coming-of-age novel set in New York City, Vintage Contemporaries. Set in two different years – 1991 and 2004 – we follow Em, who works in the publishing world, through the trials and memories of building a life in New York City. Described as “a sharp, reflective, and funny story of a young woman coming into herself and struggling to find her place, Vintage Contemporaries is a novel about art, parenthood, loyalty, and fighting for a cause—the times we do the right thing, and the times we fail—set in New York City on both sides of the millennium.”

British Finds

Happy Valley, all three seasons, AMC

I wanted to bring a highly praised series to your attention, if it isn’t already (I know for many of TSLL readers this is old news and much overdue news) – Happy Valley. Sarah Lancashire who you may remember from Last Tango in Halifax and starring as Julia Child in the HBO Max series Julia, stars in one of the best drama series as described by leading critics. A three season series that just officially wrapped up this past weekend to great applause (not for concluding but how it concluded and how Lancashire embodied her character of a police sergeant based in West Yorkshire), the series began in 2012, and over the past decade, fans have been growing in numbers as word of mouth has built the show’s popularity for good reason. Available to viewers in the states on AMC. Here is the trailer of Season 1.


Rejuvenation Kitchen & Dining Sale, 20% off

Enjoy 20% off at Rejuvenation this weekend with their Kitchen and Dining sale. I have shopped a few items below, and even scooped up a cafe curtain rod for my foyer window treatments (waiting paid off!). No code necessary.

24″ Brookside Rail – available in different lengths and with more brass cups for organization for whichever room in the house this chic décor detail would fit best.


Clayson Console Table (two finishes)



Somebody I Used to Know

With Valentine’s Day taking place next Tuesday, the movie theaters are premiering many new rom-com films, and Somebody I Used to Know, while a Rom-Com-ish, is not entirely your typical plot which is why it might be pique your interest (or not, depending upon what you are seeking). “On a trip to her hometown, workaholic Ally reminisces with her ex Sean and starts to question everything about the person she’s become. Things only get more confusing when she meets Cassidy, who reminds her of the person she used to be.” Have a look at the trailer below and find it on Amazon Prime as well in theaters.

Your Place Or Mine

Available to enjoy viewing today on Netflix is a rom-com starring Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher – Your Place Or Mine. Debbie and Peter are best friends and total opposites. Swapping homes for a week – one lives in LA and the other in New York City, they gain a glimpse into each others’ lives and perhaps open the door to a relationship they never thought possible. Have a look at the trailer below. Looks like a fun one to view.

Francophile Find

Luxe Provence Edith Linen Dots Dress in Navy or Turmeric

French sustainably made clothing company, Luxe Provence works with linen fabrics made with the flax from northern France has a new offering if you are a fan of navy and polka dots. Their Edith linen wrap dress, originally available in turmeric, is now available for pre-order in a classic print – yep! Navy and polka dots. Order now as they only make a limited amount, and last year, the preordering availability wrapped up in one day.

Matisse Exhibit – Cahiers d’art, the pivotal 1930’s – at L’Orangerie

If you will be in Paris this late winter or spring, I wanted to bring to your attention an exhibit showing in the lower portion of Musée de l’Orangerie which will display Matisse’s work during the 1930s where he found himself in Tahiti after leaving France. “Deliberately taking a break from creation, and reaching a turning point in his career, the “Matisse. Cahiers d’art, le tournant des années 1930” exhibition revisits this decisive decade.” And of course, if you haven’t already visited L’Orangerie and Monet’s permanent works of Les Nymphéas, you will want to do that while you are there. Here is my tour of Monet’s famed and beloved work in a post and video.

Parisian Days by Banine (translated)

Following reading a review of Banine’s second work in The Financial Times, Parisian Days I became intrigued by the story and the person the book reveals. Officially named Ummulbanu Asadullayeva — better known by her pseudonym, Banine, Parisian Days (published in 1947) takes off where her first book, Days in the Caucasus left off. Banine’s life story of leaving Baku and heading to Paris and all that the City of Light brought to her life.  

Banine’s memoir begins with her boarding the Orient Express as it “hurtles towards the promised land, and Banine is free for the first time in her life. She has fled her ruined homeland and unhappy forced marriage for a dazzling new future in Paris. Now she cuts her hair, wears short skirts, mingles with Russian émigrés, Spanish artists, writers and bohemians in the 1920’s beau monde – and even contemplates love. But soon she finds that freedom brings its own complications. As her family’s money runs out, she becomes a fashion model to survive. And when a glamorous figure from her past returns, life is thrown further into doubt. Banine has always been swept along by the forces of history.” This is a book I very much look forward to reading.

Poîlane’s Love Brioche (they ship to the states!)

There is still time to scoop up these limited time French treats for Valentine’s Day and ship them to your loved one. France’s famed bakery Poîlane is selling Love Brioche which means their brioche includes crunchy and sweet texture of pink pralines, baked in their wood fired oven and can be sent to you or someone you love here in the states as well as throughout Europe. For only 22 € receive a set of 2 brioches. Yum!!!


Banana Republic Modern Turquoise Cuff, Aureus + Argent

There is just something about turquoise. A timeless accessory that works with just about everything. And this Aureus + Argent cuff is enough to wear all on its own.

Chinti & Parker Winter Sale

British clothing company Chinti & Parker is having their winter sale, and there are a handful of Fair Isle Sweaters that are 70% off, such as this black wool-cashmere (just below). I have also shopped a few other timeless finds you might want to add to your winter wardrobe as the prices are very nice indeed.

Men’s Grey Cashmere Track Pants, 70% off (navy also available)

Me + Em Organic Cotton Lace Stitch Crew Neck Sweater, cream

TSLL’s Annual Spring Shopping Guide will be released on March 1st and one brand I will be including is Me + Em. A great new spring collection is being offered and the prices are approachable for quality pieces as seen here with this cream lace stitch crew-neck blouse.



La Pitchoune: Cooking in France, Magnolia

I want to thank a TSLL reader for bringing to my attention this series, La Pitchoune: Cooking in France on Magnolia that this past fall showcased the teaching and cooking school hosted in what used to be Julia Child’s Provençal home. The classes aim to teach enrolled students how to cook without a recipe, and that is something I am all about embracing. Working with the seasons, dancing with what is available and trusting yourself to know how to bring the best flavor forth, while it is a learned skill that takes time, it makes the cooking all the more enjoyable. Have a look at the trailer below and watch the entire first episode now on Magnolia.


The warmth of nearly 60 degree weather yesterday prompted me to nearly sit outside on my garden porch if only my furniture wasn’t tucked away in the garage. However, just realizing that such warm afternoons will become more frequent so this favorite place to while away many hours whether typing, reading, nibbling or napping made me smile. Sooner rather than later, the porch furniture will be situated, and I cannot wait to bask in the leisurely afternoon warmth when it is.

A full week on the blog with two posts shared to inspire those of us who are celebrating Valentine’s Day, no matter how you choose to celebrate – a recipe for Nigel Slater’s Spaghetti Bolognese (did you know it is best NOT to use spaghetti, but another – and original to the recipe – pasta? Yep! I share all of this in the post) and a new Podcast Bundle (#6) that compiles 14 episodes sharing How to Love Well, Find Real Love and Be Loving to Yourself and Others, the new monthly Gardening post for TOP Tier Members sharing 12 Tasks, Contemplations and Simple Joys for this month of February at Le Papillon and a contemplative post on Style regarding paring down our shopping to only 5 new items this year? Could you do it? If so, how would you approach it? That is all discussed as well as an Outfit of the Month in this post.

French class wrapped up this week for FR 102, and we have about a 10 day break before 103 begins, so I will be doing a bit of reviewing this weekend, as well as reading this gardening book and continuing to read book #2 in this series: Both light reads, but exactly what sounds like a relaxing weekend. We may pop up to the mountain for a ski or snowshoe as it looks like it will be a gorgeous sunny day and the snow is still hanging around quite nicely. Other than that, a weekend of cozying-in at home and when Sunday arrives, croissants will be savored paired with the weekend newspapers! Wishing you a wonderful weekend as well and thank you for choosing to stop by today. Until Monday, bonne journée.

~12 different ways to meditate that technically don’t appear as meditation but do reduce stress [The Guardian UK]

~An exciting announcement in the classical musical world – the New York Philharmonic announced who the new conductor will be beginning in 2026 and I think many of you will know him (and tip your hat – or baton ;)). I thoroughly enjoyed when Gustavo Dudamel, during the first couple months of lockdown in 2020 hosted a segment on KUSC sharing his favorite compositions along with the backstory as to what he was struck by. All from his home to keep us calm and strong.

~David Lebovitz’s lemon bars (Meyer lemons because he now has a tree that produces them in his new yard!) look delicious! And there is one new detail I will be adding to my recipe when I make this soon. A recipe to welcome spring!

~Interior designers share the secrets for creating a room of comfort [House & Garden UK]

~Looking forward to the release of this book (released in February in the UK, and in May in the states) from which this excerpt was pulled – Think yourself better: 10 Rules of Philosophy to Live By [The Guardian]

~According to Travel + Leisure, the 7 Best Wine Hotels in France.

~10 ideas for lowering your flying footprint [CN Traveler]

~While I may only dream about one day owning one of her pieces, her effortless and minimalist French style is iconic and she is finally coming back to share her talent. Phoebe Philo has just posted when her new collection will be available. [The Cut]

~Check out this French Beauty expert’s advice on how to create the ‘Parisian glow’ – didn’t know it had a name, but in other words, a healthy glow, radiant skin that looks as though you barely have any make-up and look amazing. [PureWow]

~The French expert mentioned above is Clémence von Mueffling, and her book was the inspiration for episode #258 of The Simple Sophisticate podcast. I highly recommend it. Discover 22 more French beauty secrets when you read/listen to the episode, a listener favorite.

French accent marks: A beginner offers a primer [Frenchly]

~The Earful Tower is continuing their series of 10 things to do on your [insert trip to Paris number here] to Paris. This one is the Third Trip to Paris, and the first item on the list is a must-do in my book.

Is it a pain au chocolat or a chocolatine? A French dilemma evidentially. Either way, délicieux. [The Local] I enjoyed one of my own this past Sunday. ☺️

~This is a home tour that just made me smile – a 19th century lighthouse located on an island in Maine – it’s cozy, charming and, well, take the tour here.

~The winner who was named Best New Artist at the recent Grammy Awards was a jazz musician, and her name is one you will be hearing much more about. Samara Joy, performs ‘Can’t Get Out of This Mood”. Enjoy.

~Explore last week’s This & That: February 3, 2023

A new French film that received high praise and awards when it debuted at film festivals last year, a new French series I am loving and three British series to sit down and enjoy as their new seasons have been released, five books in a variety of genres – traveling alone, sex, well-being and more. Clothing to continue to look chic as winter winds down and a newish dramedy starring an Academy Award winner that I thoroughly enjoyed watching these past couple of weeks. Still! Much more!

~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.

6 thoughts on “This & That: February 10, 2023

  1. Thank you, Shannon, for a lovely This & That!

    I have a lot of favourites this week:
    – All the Beauty in the World – there are many way in which Beauty can touch the lives of people. I find that surrounding ourselves with beautiful things – within one’s own taste, of course, no one is going to live in a museum ;-)… – and handling them on a daily basis, is a sure part of the way for a life true contentment. I am interested to read about other people experience, especially when it takes place in such a “wow” setting;
    – Dots dress, tumeric – oh, what a beautiful dress!
    – Parisian Days – I am always ready for a bit of vintage literature. 🙂
    – Turquoise Cuff – another beautiful piece…
    – Delighted that Gustavo Dudamel is the new conductor for the NYPhil. He is, on my opinion, the best of contemporaneous conductors;
    – How to make a comfy room – yes, please. It was funny to read the story on Mrs. Valentine… 🙂
    – Lighthouse in Main – I would not mind to spent a vacation there, mind you 😉

    I still want to answer the post about pairing down wardrobe shopping. Such an interesting question. Doable, certainly, but requires a bit of planning.

    We are tipped for a raise of temperature next week. I hope it will be the case. Me, too, I would love to finally be able to sit outside for a bit. Chairs are also packed away chez moi, but no matter, I would just bring out quickly a little folding bench. And a blanket. And a cup of hot tea. 🙂

    Have a great weekend, and give many pats and hugs to Nelle and Norman! 🙂

    1. Isabel, your idea for basking in the February warmth sounds like a grand idea. ? And yes, to holiday in that lighthouse would be quite a special getaway. They have made a very welcoming and cozy abode. Thank you for stopping by today and wishing you a wonderful weekend! ☺️

  2. Really anticipating your gardening post this week! I’m off the the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle on Wednesday. Any & all input welcome!

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