Quite a few shopping finds, one find as seen at Wimbledon in the stands, a lovely summer capsule detail to have for years to come. Totes, dresses, cover-ups, shorts and more. Books about decorating with books, aging exuberantly, the history of the invention of the restaurant and when it actually began in France as well as two novels receiving attention for their genre. Also, a new season arrives for a favorite and long-running French series that takes viewers around the hexagon with each episode, a brocante pop-up not to miss and still there is more!
—Books Make a Home: Elegant Ideas for Storing and Displaying Books by Damian Thompson
Indeed, books and creating a home are, shall we say, like peanut butter & jelly? 🙃😉 They just go together. The more books the better, but knowing how to store them so that they can be fully appreciated whether aesthetically or functionality is key. Damian Thompson’s book Books Make a Home came out a couple of years ago, but it is a resource for every bibliophile as it provides inspirational home tours for every room in the house.
—The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture by Rebecca L. Spang
I happened upon an interview with author Rebecca L. Spang on an episode of the Milk Street Radio podcast, and I asked myself first, how did this book slip past me because it is exactly what I enjoy reading about: food, history and France. 🙂 And then, quickly put it on my reading list.
Released this past December from international bestselling author Margareta Magnusson (Alexandra Stoddard introduced her to The Simple Sophisticate podcast audience when she mentioned said book in episode #359) is a book about “what makes each day worth living. In her new book she reveals her discoveries about aging—some difficult to accept, many rather wondrous. She reflects on her idyllic childhood on the west coast of Sweden, the fullness of her life with her husband and five children, and learning how to live alone. Throughout, she offers advice on how to age gracefully, such as: wear stripes, don’t resist new technology, let go of what doesn’t matter, and more.”
—Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind by Scott Barry Kaufman
Released in 2015 is a book by author of another book I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend (see that book here). Wired to Create is “reveals the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology, along with engaging examples of artists and innovators throughout history, the book shines a light on the practices and habits of mind that promote creative thinking. Kaufman and Gregoire untangle a series of paradoxes— like mindfulness and daydreaming, seriousness and play, openness and sensitivity, and solitude and collaboration – to show that it is by embracing our own contradictions that we are able to tap into our deepest creativity. Each chapter explores one of the ten attributes and habits of highly creative people: Imaginative Play * Passion * Daydreaming * Solitude * Intuition * Openness to Experience * Mindfulness * Sensitivity * Turning Adversity into Advantage * Thinking Differently.”
—The Air Raid Book Club: A Novel by Annie Lyons
Being released on July 11th is a new novel by Annie Lyons, The Air Raid Book Club, that takes us back to London during WWII. But this book is about a bookstore and a creative idea to organize a book club around the air raids that relegated many Britons to safe quarters while they waited out the Blitz.
—Murder In . . . , new season (#9), MHzChoice
Admittedly, watching storylines about murder may sound morbid, but one detail of many that is quite lovely about this series, now in its ninth season, is that each episode takes you to a different town, village or city in France, and none of them is typically well-known to outsiders. With a new duo of detectives solving each crime, it is almost as though you are watching a new show each time. And just this past Tuesday the latest season was released. Have a look at the trailer below to discover where this season will take viewers.
—The Paris Agent: A Novel by Kelly Rimmer
If you enjoy historical thrillers, then Kelly Rimmer is an author to know. Her latest novel, The Paris Agent, will be released on Tuesday July 11th, is set 25 years after WWII and is related to her father’s experience during the war. Sustaining a head injury during his final operation, he is “frustrated by the gaps in his memory—in particular about the agent who saved his life during that mission gone wrong, whose real name he never knew, nor whether she even survived the war. Moved by her father’s frustration, Noah’s daughter Charlotte begins a search for answers that resurrects the stories of Chloe and Fleur, the code names for two otherwise ordinary women whose lives intersect in 1943 when they’re called up by the SOE for deployment in France. Taking enormous risks to support the allied troops with very little information or resources, the women have no idea they’re at the mercy of a double agent among them who’s causing chaos within the French circuits, whose efforts will affect the outcome of their lives…and the war.”
—Rabbit Hill French Lifestyle monthly Pop-Up Online Shop – this Saturday, July 8th!
Each month Cat of Rabbit Hill Lifestyle online destination hosts an online pop-up shop where she sells many brocante finds, polished up antique copper and other items (including finds from artisans around France and clothing as well). Items go fast, so if you are at least curious, but sure to be ready to visit her site at 9am (Pacific) this Saturday. I have purchased a handful of items from her and love each one – copper pans, utensils, wine jugs and baskets. All of them high quality and well worth every penny.
—The Green Gardening Handbook: Grow, Eat and Enjoy by Nancy Birtwhistle
Also being released on July 11th is a book for gardeners, The Green Gardening Handbook. Sharing “sustainable, eco-friendly tips that will help you make the most of your space, and what it can grow, whether you have a sprawling garden, a modest patch of grass or just a spare windowsill, Nancy Birtwhistle’s latest book has over 100 tips that will help you embrace the joy of growing and eating from your own garden.”
I envision this shirt dress cinched with a simple, yet statement belt, worn with flat sandals with little or no jewelry. As well, wearing it without a belt and with a statement piece as seen here is a great idea also.
The eyelet detail, yet having full coverage as well. A simple, yet statement dress ideal for summer. And at a great price as well (less than $200).
—Me + Em Guipure Lace Dinner Shirt (as seen on Kim Murray at Wimbledon this week)
A classic, yet cool aesthetic, Kim Murray donned this lace dinner shirt earlier this week while watching Andy win his opening match at Wimbledon (see the article here). Layer underneath with a simple white or colored camisole, or even nude and you don’t need much else by the way of accessories as the shirt does the talking. Beautiful.
A classic, yet comfortable fit with a slightly unique style with the additional seams, but nothing that is too much, and rather, just right.
—Sézane Large Jute Tote (three different colors)
For less than $100, this jute tote caught my eye for all sorts of summer market shopping. Almost looking like a carpet bag, with its subtle print and comfortable handle, this is an item to keep for years for that casual, yet at the same time, elevated touch.
These shorts with the lace dinner shirt shared above, paired with sandals, flat or heeled, is the perfect outfit for style, yet comfort; cool, yet covered. Love it.
A timeless color, ivory, with a touch of personality, pair with linen pants or shorts and remain cool and comfortable, yet absolutely stylish.
—The White Company, Summer Sale, up to 60% off
The British brand, The White Company, is holding its annual summer sale and so much is on great discount. I have shopped quite a few items in the scroll below, but the first two items below caught my eye immediately for staying cool and being able to go about pottering or lounging, all that summer wants us to do.
These linen overalls caught my eye.
SHOP THE SALE:
Well, sometimes good things are just meant to take a bit more time, and just this lesson was underscored this week. After picking up my door handle for my front door in Portland (the screen door was picked up as well!), a customized piece to fit my door and taste and realizing I needed a locksmith to help me fit the deadbolt properly into my door, we discovered that one of the parts wasn’t working as it should. The good news is, I am cautiously confident that the new parts will arrive later this month after I immediately called the company while the locksmith was still at my house to make sure I was explaining the issue correctly. Once the replacement pieces arrive, then all I have to do is put the knob on because the locksmith customized everything as it needed to be (the old handle is currently back in place in the meantime) and taught me how to finish this project myself which is what I had hoped I could do initially. So, in a way, this was the best possible of outcomes because I now have the opportunity to finish this door on my own having gained the expertise I needed to confirm how to do it properly (as well as save some money). And there you go, lessons arrive, and sometimes exactly what you wished for arrives, via a route to the onlooker wouldn’t be wanted, but in fact, is exactly and the only way it could be.
In other news. 😌 As I had hoped, Norman and Nelle and I began the holiday on the Fourth of July out on the water, paddling on Mirror Pond and through Drake Park, then up river a bit, enjoying the entire river to ourselves except for one solo kayaker. A memorable outing with the pups doing wonderfully and the weather being just ideal.
I have been enjoying watching Le Tour de France, and wasn’t yesterday’s leg impressive! Wow! Wimbledon has also begun, and even with all of the rain earlier this week, some great matches to enjoy (I will be sitting down to watch Andy Murray’s match after writing T & T). This weekend takes me out of town to spend time with my mother and my niece in my old college town, Eugene, Oregon, so I look forward to exploring it again as well as the many delicious food destinations.
Thank you for stopping by today and wishing you a wonderful weekend. Below I have gathered up articles you might enjoy. Until Monday, bonne journée!
~Friend of TSLL, author and expat living in Provence, M.L. Longworth has written an article for Anglophiles that appeared last week in WSJ – Visiting London? Don’t Skip Chiswick, a Lush Paradise that Inspired Van Gogh, W.B. Yeats and More [WSJ, subscription required]
~Have your breath taken by the beauty of the oodles of roses in this garden in Spitalfields, England [House & Garden UK]
~Save this article for whenever you just need to take a breath and be reassured that all, whatever it is that is grabbing your mind and causing worry, will be okay – 32 Reasons Everything Will Be Okay. I especially appreciated #21 & #26 [Good Good Good]
~5 Members of the Net-a-Porter team share their Forever Items, a pretty concise and on-point list.
—Have you heard about the new Instagram family app Threads? Created by IG to fill the void largely left by Twitter for conversation with more moderation and the ability to chat with up to 500 characters, their goal is a more positive connection with the world and more control for you, the user. Learn more here and follow TSLL with the same handle as on IG – @thesimplyluxuriouslife. [NPR]
~What a stunner of a Super Moon. See how it appeared around the globe this past Monday night [The New York Times]
~A fun interview with author and lifestyle curator Ajiri Aki living in Paris on David Lebovitz’s podcast.
~Speaking of Joie (the focus of the above interview), 10 Daily Habits that Often Drain 90% of your Joy [Marc & Angel]
~Mary Berry gives an interview sharing what makes her home an English Home [The English Home]
~Monty Don’s July newsletter, full of pics from Longmeadow and jobs to do this month in your garden.
~Take a look inside the most secret event in Paris: Dîner in Blanc [My French Country Home]
~As travel is in full swing, perhaps you want to commemorate some of your favorite destinations by decorating with maps. Discover how to do just that. [House & Garden UK]
~Speaking of travel, keep your plants healthy while you are away [The English Garden]
~The fashion world is near beside itself in anticipation for September, and for good reason – Phoebe Philo will unveil her new collection in September .
~Explore last week’s This & That: June 30, 2023
Let the summer reading begin! With books about, well, books! Bibliophiles, delight in two new books about books, one from a bestselling author from Oregon and another that is an international bestseller. Another book about gardening, but not just about the fundamentals, but rather the philosophy and joy of gardening as well as a fun fiction book that has been receiving some buzz. Also, two major sporting events kick off this weekend and with it being the Fourth of July holiday weekend, there are all sorts of shopping sales not to miss. I have done some shopping for you as well as found some luxurious finds that will be with you for years. All that and more.