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Two cookbooks – one to inspire your next must-needed dinner party with friends, the other perfect for seeking inspiration from the garden for food and drinks. A new film critics are raving about, that perfect summer straw hat and linen shirt, the return of a favorite French series, figure out exactly what makes up Perfect English Decor, more books, more décor organizational items and yep, still more. 🙂
Released this past Tuesday, Scott O’Neil shares “life lessons from an array of people including professional athletes and sports executives, a world-famous Movie Director, and his teenage daughters, among many others . . . centered around the guiding premise that “the human spirit craves connection. Authenticity. Belonging. Touch. Gratitude. Purpose. We need to make our interactions count. Whether it’s the death of a friend, loss of a job, a bad break-up or the isolation of Covid-19, those who manage to be where their feet are will grow, stretch and emerge stronger, smarter and more prepared as we find peace and gratitude in the pause.”
—Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
From New York Times bestselling author, Nicola Yoon’s second novel, a young adult novel, but one I think will capture the attention and interest of many adult readers looking for a light-hearted, well-written summer read, Instructions for Dancing is much anticipated by critics. Check out the synopsis here, and let yourself dance, be open to love and see what happens.
—Knowing Where to Look: 108 Daily Doses of Inspiration by Light Watkins
Released in May and brought to my attention by Rona, a regular reader of TSLL, upon exploring the title, I wanted to share as I thought many readers would appreciate the book’s focus. “In Knowing Where to Look, Light Watson presents a trove of compelling inspirational material to catalyze positive change and give you fuel to push through self-limiting beliefs. Through 108 diverse essays, anecdotes, and parables, Light provides doorways to inspired thinking and imagination. Prompts offer reflection questions and action steps for further bringing your inspiration to life.”
One of the reasons I am drawn to English decor is the timelessness, as well as the unpredictability and refrain from matchy-matchy. Released this past March, a book to explain exactly what is English Style. “We may recognize an interior as archetypally English, but putting a finger on exactly what makes it so can be tricky. One of the strengths of English style is that it isn’t prescriptive. In fact, quite the opposite. It is relaxed, laissez-faire, and endlessly adaptable—all reasons, no doubt, why it has enjoyed such longevity.”
In Perfect English Style, Ros Byam Shaw “explores the main rooms of a house, their characteristics and furnishings, and how they achieve that mix of comfort, informality, and visual charm that is the hallmark of English style. Ros also homes in on specifics: the qualities of patina, the important role of fabrics, how to buy and include antique and vintage furnishings, and how a collection, whether of pebbles or 18th-century glass, adds individuality and character.”
—Lush Life: Food & Drinks from the Garden by Valerie Rice
Released this past May, just in time to begin spending more time outside and utilizing what we find in our gardens and at the farmers markets, Valerie Rice’s new cookbook “brings together 156 of her favorite seasonal recipes for entertaining, family meals, snacks, and so much more, including cocktail recipes and wine advice.” Check out Valerie’s entire website full of inspiration for the garden, eating and drinking, Eat, Drink, Garden with Valerie.
Upon listening/reading NPR’s review of the newly released film Plan B on Hulu, I put the film on my “to watch” list. Initially, I thought it was far too silly, but then I dug deeper, and I am glad I did. Produced by Natalie Morales, Plan B is a film critics are praising for its comedic chops, but also, more importantly, the truths revealed. Described by NPR’s as a winning comedy with some painful truths, the films begins “after a regrettable first sexual encounter, a straight-laced high school student (Kuhoo Verma) and her slacker best friend (Victoria Moroles) have 24 hours to hunt down a Plan B pill in America’s heartland”. Have a look at the trailer and discover why you too may want to check it out.
—L’Art du Crime, season 3 released!
Much to my delight, I turned on my Amazon Prime on Tuesday and discovered a new season of L’Art du Crime was just released on MHz. While originally released in France in 2019, the season is new to the streaming service (be sure to check out season 1 & 2 to establish the leading duo’s relationship), and with two episodes to watch this first week – look for a new episode to be released each week through the summer. Have a look at the trailer below and enjoy! 🙂
—À Table: Recipes for cooking and eating the French way by Rebekah Peppler
Recently, in the WSJ’s Off Duty section, Peppler’s new cookbook was shared as inspiration for organizing your own dinner party (“Return to Dinner Parties”). After all, we are in need of social face-to-face interaction, good food and getting our conversation muscles back into shape! Upon looking at contents, this cookbook is one I look forward to welcoming into my home and I cannot wait to host my first dinner party.
—CB2 & KEPT Den Woven Natural Baskets (set of 3) (more colors)
Simple, stylish and a great way to keep things organized around the home.
I love a good jute basket for neatly storing items I regularly use, and this basket caught my eye for blanket organization in the living room.
Leave buttoned-up or leave the neckline open – for work or for evening outings, this silk dress would be lovely for a variety of occasions.
Summer is just around the corner, and a good straw hat is an essential item. Peter Beaton, based in Nantucket, offers quality made toppers of all brim lengths and styles. Find your favorite, select a ribbon or not and keep your face protected as well as look chic and lovely.
Quality white linen shirts are a staple in my closet (see here one of my favorites), and The White Company sells a style I recently wore and have had for a couple of years now. Their relaxed linen shirt (also available in beige/tan) works well dressed up or down in the warmer summer days and evenings.
The first weekend in June, and the weather looks to be ideal in the low 70s, just what we had hoped for our school’s first outdoor graduation. The class of 2021 will be celebrating together this year as opposed to last year when only a few people/students and families could be in the school at a time. So most definitely, this year’s graduation is an event to celebrate along with the achievement the students have long worked hard for.
I look forward to stepping back into the garden, planting a few more seedlings that are now ready to find their permanent home outside, as well as catching up on laundry after my old washer broke down a couple of weeks ago and a new one had to be ordered. The necessities we sometimes forget to appreciate certainly do remind us how fortunate we are to have such a thing as a washer that works. 🙂
This past week on the blog included the regular Monday (How to Transition into a Better (more fulfilling) Normal) and Wednesday (7 reasons to shop Chairish) posts, and also the month of May’s Saturday Ponderings . . . and June’s A Cuppa Moments chat with TOP Tier subscribers (learn more about subscription options here). I just sat down and joined in on the conversation and so enjoyed reading all that you have shared if you took part in this month’s chat. I will continue to respond as comments are shared, so don’t hesitate to continue to answer the monthly question, engage with fellow subscribers or simply say hello. 🙂
I wanted to thank listeners and readers for bringing to my attention an awesome shout-out of The Simple Sophisticate podcast that was made by hosts of the new and well-received podcast The Deep Dive. In their most recent episode comedian and writer Jessica St. Clair (who hosts along with friend and actress June Diane Raphael (you may recognize her from Grace & Frankie)) recommended the show (see 1:10:05), and I couldn’t be more appreciative. If you haven’t listened to their show yet, I think you might enjoy it. It’s frank, real and much appreciated, especially for women living full and busy lives.
Speaking of full lives, it’s time to seek out the balance of a slower pace this weekend, or at least a pace to savor. I have gathered together a handful of articles and posts you might enjoy along with a video from many years ago that speaks to what I think we are each trying to achieve in our own way – peace and contentment in our everydays. Wishing you a wonderful weekend and until Monday when a new episode of the podcast is shared, bonne journée.
~Top 10 Cheese Shops in Paris [David Lebovitz]
~3 Ways to improve French for the time poor [My French Life]
~10 important things you miss when you’re busy doing it all [Be More With Less]
~Monty Don shares his June garden post
~Thank you for TSLL reader Rona for sharing this article with me – how to make a perfect cup of British tea [Town & Country]
~6 things to know for traveling to Europe this summer [The New York Times]
~Perhaps we should make work less central in our lives for a better quality of life – The Religion of Workism is Making Americans Miserable [The Atlantic]
~For the gardeners! Perennials made simple: how to choose and grow the best plants for your border [Middle Sized Garden]
~Below is a video clip from many years ago, Oprah’s interview with Jennifer Aniston, but I appreciated it because Aniston speaks about how we finally come to feel peace. It’s simpler than we think, we often become aware of reaching the desired place in an everyday moment, but it’s also something we can’t force so long as we’re intentional in our determination to grow. All the more reason to be patient with ourselves and trust that all those little steps add up and lead to extraordinary experience of contentment. Have a look.
~View last Friday’s This & That here.
Books on style, pizza, Paris, positive body talk and eating well the globe and ourselves. A hilarious new British comedy, Memorial Day sales – links and promo codes, new music, a new comedy from Tina Fey, a new drama series, summer styles to keep you cool and chic, and still much more.