This & That: June 21, 2024
Friday June 21, 2024

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If you are looking for an international caper that critics have compared to a Knives Out meets Crazy Rich Asians meets The White Lotus, then Death in the Air is your mystery travel read to pick up. The author Ram Murali began his career as a lawyer in private practice in London and Paris, and worked for many years across all aspects of film and television development, production and distribution. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Columbia Law School, the Sorbonne and the University of Cambridge, so he brings this international perspective to this curious culture, and as the story unfolds at Samsara, a world-class spa for the global cosmopolitan elite nestled in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, the death toll keeps rising. Let’s the red herrings begin to be dropped and the sleuthing begin!

While published more than 10 years ago, in fact in 2008, I still wanted to bring this charming illustrated travel book to your attention. With travel plans commencing for many, Lucy Knisley’s French Milk shares the travel diary of her trip with her mother to Paris complete with her descriptive illustrations of the City of Light.

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“Through delightful drawings, photographs, and musings, twenty-three-year-old Lucy Knisley documents a six-week trip she and her mother took to Paris when each was facing a milestone birthday.” 

One more for fellow lovers of travel: published in 2016, The Kindness of Strangers is a collection of 26 inspiring tales that “explores the unexpected human connections that so often transfigure and transform the experience of travel, and celebrates the gift of kindness around the world”.

 Perhaps just the book to pack along with you to read while you make your way by plane, train or taxi to that destination on your summer travel itinerary.

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Released this past May, florist and flower expert Carolyn Dunster demystifies in her book A Floral Feast “the idea of eating flowers and introduces readers to a whole range of blooms, leaves, flowering herbs and edible seeds that can be home-grown and used in a new way – by adding them to food. From drying hibiscus petals to concocting a soothing tisane, harvesting nigella seeds to use in savory biscuits, or baking a lemon-scented pelargonium cake, garden-grown flowers make wonderful ingredients – and align directly with the important current message of seasonal, sustainable growing. Dunster shows how to grow an abundance of flowers to guarantee a regular and plentiful supply of chemical-free ingredients”. Learn more about Carolyn here on her IG page.

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Released on June 4th, Gather & Graze authors Mumtaz Mustafa and Laura Klynstra “celebrate the unity that can be found around a table as well as the universal comfort of a meal prepared slowly with love and attention—providing a path and a place for people to connect, exchange stories, and try new flavors. The spreads, boards, and tablescapes featured in this collection will remind you of happy times and relaxed meals with those you love”. I don’t know about you, but the strawberry cream tartlets below look absolutely like a must-try sooner rather than later. All the more reason to plan a summer soirée. 🙂

Sales began to pop up just about everywhere with June’s beginning, and they just keep coming. If you are looking for a touch of the beachside décor, or adding comfortable summer linens to your home, this is a sale not to miss. I have shopped a handful of finds below, and as someone who loves a unique vase, I had to point out these Fairfax styles that are more reminiscent of jugs, as well as the tall brass floor lamp that would fit nicely in that little nook that needs a bit more cozy, but functional lighting.

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Amherst Swing Arm Floor Lamp, brass


Federer: Twelve Final Days

I can remember watching the Laver Cup last year, and tennis great’s Roger Federer’s last professional and competition appearance. What a special occasion it was to watch. This new documentary released yesterday on Amazon Prime captures the twelve final days of his professional tennis career, and that tournament is most definitely included. If you didn’t get the chance to watch it, this film will no doubt capture the highlights, and certainly so many other poignant moments to take in as his record-breaking and inspiring tennis career came to a close.

~Recently Federer gave a commencement address at Dartmouth, you can listen/watch it here.

Last weekend I sat down and watched Alice et la Maire, a French film I included in a previous T & T post, and starring in that film (by the way, I quite enjoyed the film and recommend giving it a viewing) is the lead in Un Homme Pressé, Fabrice Luchini. Un Homme Pressé, while released in 2018, so yes, I am behind in recommending it, captures the story of a “business executive who’s racing against time. After a massive stroke, Alain wakes up in a hospital, where it is quickly determined that he has sustained significant loss of language and memory. Jeanne, a young speech therapist, is assigned to help him re-learn, as a child learns, how to speak and how to put himself back together.” A lovely and playful film to add to your watch list if you haven’t already seen it. You can watch it on Amazon Prime, and the trailer is below.

A.P.C. x Katie Holmes collection + 40% Sale

The sales really are everywhere, and one brand of note is France’s A.P.C.. Recently, Katie Holmes partnered up in a collaboration with them, so I have included some of those items in the scroll below, and you can watch an interview with Katie Holmes who talks about her new collaboration with A.P.C., French style and more. And while her collection is not on sale, so many other things are, so I have done some shopping for you below.

SHOP Katie Holmes items & Sale Items:

A sale not to dismiss. If you love and appreciate quality cashmere or knit essentials, Joseph’s clothing is high quality and at full price out of my budget, so when their items go on sale, I scoop one or two up. I already have one of their cashmere turtlenecks and receive compliments on it each time I wear it, as well as v-neck long-sleeve shirts made of cashmere and stretch with I enjoy layering under blazers in the fall and winter. So I encourage you to take a look at this awesome savings opportunity.

Linen Cotton Knitted Wrap Dress, 60% off

A comfortable, yet stylish dress for cozy travel on the plane or train.

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~Shop the Sale:

Lié Studio jewelry, Caroline Earrings in gold

I happened to have just been introduced to this French jewelry brand, and upon perusing their website, found many earrings that would be right at home in my wardrobe – understated, but timeless and sturdy. One such earring is the 18 carat gold plated sterling silver Caroline earrings seen here.

If you follow the podcast IG account @thesimplesophisticate you likely already know about our exciting partnership with LolaVie, Jennifer Aniston’s award-winning haircare line, or if you tuned in to this Wednesday’s episode – #3846 Things You Gain by Honoring Your True Self, but I had to bring this awesome news to readers of T & T because if you are looking for radiant hair that works on all types of hair AND leaves your hair smelling absolutely wonderful (one of the signature details in all of Aniston’s products in LolaVia), as well as want a product that is made of 99% natural ingredients, then you will want to explore her brand. And when you do, be sure to use promo code SIMPLE to save 15% off your entire order – that includes subscriptions!. If you visit through this direct link, the discount will automatically be applied.

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If you have had your eye on a bag from Tory Burch (unfortunately, not the Radziwill bag just yet), then this is a sale to shop as many handbags are included. I have done a bit of shopping below for you on all of the types of items included.


I recently took advantage of the additional savings on sale items at Veronica Beard using promo code FIREWORKS2024 to save an additional 25% off already discounted items, and purchased this dress taking the savings down to nearly 50% off. And while the three items below are not on sale, they are items to watch or put on your KarmaNow app so that when they do go on sale, you can scoop them up.

I especially like this dress as it has a covered back, halter neckline and comes in midi length without a lot of excess fabric but still some swing. And of course, that color and in stripes!

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And you can find this nude sandal here – the Darcelle leather sandal, beige.

This dress – loving the texture of the seersucker, and while there are very few sizes left in the blue and white stripe, the khaki and white is available in nearly every size and looks to be a wonderful neutral to wear to those special occasions this summer.

Add the buttons on each shoulder, the boatneck, and change up the stripe color to a neutral beige and you have an updated Breton top!

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Everyone looks to be understandably eagerly awaiting the new season of The Bear, and in less than one week, all ten episodes will drop – Thursday June 27th. Have a look at the trailer for the award-winning show below.

Here is another fashion designer bio-pic, and this one about Diane von Furstenberg. She gave a detailed interview about the breadth of what the documentary premiering on Tuesday June 25th will cover if you would like to have a glimpse of what to expect. She holds nothing back as this looks to be quite the honest journey of her entire life.

Looking ahead a little bit on this one, but it is for good reason. If I happen to find myself in NYC next year, I would be picking up tickets to watch this musical production. Redwood, starring Idina Menzel, who is returning to Broadway after a 10 year hiatus, tells the story about one woman’s journey into the precious and precarious world of the redwoods.

“Idina plays Jesse, a successful businesswoman, mother and wife. She seems to have it all, but inside, her heart is broken. Finding herself at a turning point, Jesse leaves everyone and everything behind, gets in her car and drives… and drives. Thousands of miles later, she hits the ancient forests of Northern California, where a chance meeting and a leap of faith change her life forever. In the presence of the magnificent, towering redwoods, Jesse finds strange and powerful connections, an unexpected sense of community, and a chance at healing.”

Just to hear Menzel’s voice live is worth the ticket price. Having had the opportunity to do just that when I went to watch If/Then back almost, oh my goodness, more than 10 years ago, her voice live is magical. The play will come to the stage in 2025, so stay tuned. Learn more about the play here.


An exciting weekend has arrived here at TSLL. And I have a feeling you know what I am referring to, with the newsletter reminders that have been going out and just about a month ago the introductory video being released. Yep, I am talking about the launch of the Contentment Masterclass. Enrollment officially begins tomorrow morning (Saturday) bright and early at 5am (Pacific time) if you want to try and snag a free custom Savor tote, and whenever you wake up on your leisurely Saturday, you can stop by TSLL and make sure you have enrolled so you can begin when you are ready.

To say I am excited won’t surprise you, and of course there is nervous energy as well because this is the first time I am “teaching” so to speak in a more direct manner, more intimately, and sharing with you both what I have learned along the journey these past 14 years, but also what I taught during my professional teaching career as it pertains to critical thinking. I do hope you enjoy, and most importantly find great value in this course, as you patiently see your life change and its quality elevate with each conscious choice you make applying what you learn throughout the eight lessons.

But Saturday isn’t here just yet, and we still have some This & That content to explore and savor (speaking of savoring!), and that is what I have below for you – articles for Francophiles, gardeners and living a good and consciously chosen life.

As we step into a new season (summer/winter), I hope you are looking ahead to three months of exploring, rejuvenating and being patient as well as kind to yourself along a journey I know you are living with intention based on all of the comments and emails I receive from so many of you who are living your own unique simply luxurious life (thank you to each person who has taken the time to reach out and say hello and introduce themselves). May this weekend be full of delicious cool treats, smiles shared and of course oodles of everyday moments to savor. Until tomorrow morning, bonne journée !

~The most beautiful parks & gardens to visit in Paris [House & Garden UK]

~Thank you Rona for thinking of TSLL community and sharing this article! As someone who thoroughly appreciates Ralph Waldo Emerson’s philosophy and found my head moving up and down in agreement with each item shared in the list, this was a wonderful article to read on How to Take Control of Your Life [The Atlantic]

~47 things to do in Paris right now according to Conde Nast Traveler

~A French farmhouse ‘feel’ in this Toronto home [Rue magazine]

~It’s officially summer and strawberries are in abundance at the markets, so why not make a Strawberry Spritz courtesy of David Lebovitz? Here is his recipe.

~Today in France and many Francophone countries, today, June 21st is La Fête de la Musique ! And if you happen to be in France on this day and night, it is a special day to be there. Learn more about this annual festival here.

~If you’ve been curious about where some of the locations seen in Bridgerton, season 3, are actually located, here is the article to read to learn about 10 of them. [Vogue UK]

~How do they do it?, you may be wondering regarding the continual blooms of the roses at Sissinghurst Castle Gardens. Well, here’s the article to share their secrets. [Gardens Illustrated]

~The five best flea markets in Paris to visit [Veranda]

~Get ready to laugh, just a little bit ;). Julia Louis-Dreyfus goes day drinking with Seth Meyers on his late show and of course laughs ensue.:)

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19 thoughts on “This & That: June 21, 2024

  1. Shannon, you and you readers might enjoy the French Tour de France documentary, Unchained. There are two seasons on Netflix. It takes you behind the scenes and introduces you to some real characters: the cyclists, tour directors, and trainers, to name of few. And of course there are the heart-stopping moments from the race itself. A good way to practice your French (or German, Slovenian, Dutch etc given the international nature of the peleton).

    1. Alexandra,

      Thank you for reminding us these two seasons! I have begun watching both seasons, and need to finish! As you shared, it is a wonderful series to show the behind the scenes and all that goes into this annual quite amazing event. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and sharing. 😌

  2. Thanks for sending the link to Federer’s Dartmouth commencement speech. Incredible, and, of course, mesmerizing!

  3. CouCou Shannon, Happy Saturday! I just signed up for the Contentment Masterclass and can’t wait to dive in!
    David Leibowitz’s aperitif sounds so refreshing. Death in the Air looks fun. looking forward to reading the Sissinghurst article, so MUCH I do not know about roses…(Speaking of, I just received the glorious David Austin 2024 Handbook of Roses–try to dream and plan for next spring!) Un Homme Pressé looks lovely and poignant.
    Much love and ear rubs to the pups, happy weekend everyone! xx

    1. Oops, rushing to get outside in the morning cool to the garden–“TIME to dream and plan for next Spring!)🙃~xx

  4. Hi Shannon. I just purchased the course buy am.having problems finding it on the site?? Sorry. I am sure I just missed something
    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Penny! You will find it on your Dashboard (click Account in the upper left-hand corner of the blog), then see “Courses” on the menu bar in your Dashboard. 🙂 Email me if you have any other questions and thank you for enrolling! I do hope you enjoy.

  5. A thank you to Rona for suggesting, and you for gifting, the article in The Atlantic on self-reliance. Great read.

    Happy to see LolaVie on the list. I let my hair dry naturally, and don’t regularly use product so I have been looking for something to tame my frizzy waves during the Texas humidity without weighing it down. I recently tried the detangler and leave-in conditioner combo and they have worked wonderfully. I have received so many compliments, I think I’ll give the shampoo a go as well.

    Thinking Death in the Air may just be my summer holiday read.

    Have a great day!


  6. Michelle, happy you enjoyed the article–basically if someone mentions Emerson, I’m there.
    I’m just across the street from you in humid north Louisiana, I too dry my hair naturally, and the Holy Grail has forever been finding something to keep the waves and tame the frizzies. I’ve had almost stunning success with JVN Air Dry Creme and add the leave-in conditioning spray on really top frizz days. Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience with LolaVie products, I will definitely give them a go. And speaking of summer days,(ye gads, the mid to upper 90s are already upon us…), have you had Talenti ice cream and/or sorbetto? I HIGHLY recommend their Sea Salt Caramel ice cream and their raspberry sorbetto. xx

    1. Rona,

      Glad to hear you’re my neighbor and we probably aren’t far as I am in NE Texas (where LA and TX meet).

      As I write, it is 101 so summer is most definitely upon us. I have only tried one flavor of Talenti, pistachio. It was fine, but I will need to give your suggestions a go. The raspberry sounds very refreshing. Speaking of refreshing, if you are near a World Market you should try the Lorena pink lemonade. Fabulous!

  7. Happy Sunday! Thank you for sharing the Lolavie discount. I’ve been curious about the products and just placed an order. That French farmhouse inspired design in Toronto is gorgeous! The countertops with those cabinets…I swoon! Definitely inspiration as I work on renovating my home.

    1. I do think you will like the products. I love the scent and while I have fine hair, so I only spray a bit of detangler, my hair is definitely softer (if I spray too much, it becomes to flat to my head (unless I blow it out while damp of course ☺️). And isn’t that kitchen lovely! Enjoy the journey of renovations as it really is art in progress and is worth the temporary headaches along the way. Thank you for stopping by today and saying hello and sharing what caught your eye. 😌 Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

  8. The Diane von Furstenberg documentary looks so interesting. That is definitely going on my to watch list. Thank you for bringing it to my attention as I hadn’t heard there was one in the works.
    Late but congratulations on the launch of the master class ! Being on maternity at the moment it’s not the time for me to partake but I do hope to enrol some time in the future when Erin is a bit older 🙂

    1. Sarah,

      Thank you so much for your congratulations. 🙂 And the doc of DVF definitely looks to be fully honest and revealing. She doesn’t hold back, and never really has, to be honest, which is probably why people, like and you, are drawn to her. I do hope you enjoy! Sending love to you and your family – little one and Waffle too! xoxo

      1. Thank you ! Hope you and the pups are well. It looks like you’ve had a lovely visit in Portland. Looking forward to catching up in this months Cuppa this week!

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