This & That: March 1, 2024
Friday March 1, 2024

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Oh, now this book has been preordered! Being released this coming Tuesday March 5th, Cal Newport returns to introduce seasonal variation, to shift our performance toward long-term quality, providing a roadmap for escaping overload and arriving instead at a more timeless approach to pursuing meaningful accomplishment. Slow Productivity “lays out the key principles of such an approach that pushes back against what clearly has been causing chronic exhaustion for a more sustainable alternative to the aimless overwhelm that defines our current moment. Combining cultural criticism with systematic pragmatism, Newport deconstructs the absurdities inherent in standard notions of productivity, and then provides step-by-step advice for cultivating a slower, more humane alternative.”

After listening to an interview with the author on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, I became curious to read his new book Why We Remember. Charan Ranganath, a pioneering neuroscientist and psychologist “radically reframes the way we think about the everyday act of remembering. Combining accessible language with cutting-edge research, he reveals the surprising ways our brains record the past and how we use that information to understand who we are in the present, and to imagine and plan for the future.”

In TSLL’s 1st book – Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life – I briefly include the history of the financial independence history for women in the United States, primarily to remind us that the financial freedom we have today is a fairly new reality. So when I heard of financial journalist Josie Cox’s new book Women, Money, Power being released on March 5th, I bookmarked it to read. “In Women Money Power, Cox tells the story of women’s fight for financial freedom. This is an inspirational account of brave pioneers who took on social mores and the law, including the ‘Rosies’ who filled industrial jobs vacated by men and helped win WWII, the heiress whose fortune helped create the birth control pill, the brassy investor who broke into the boys’ club of the New York Stock Exchange, and the namesake of landmark equal pay legislation who refused to accept discrimination.”

Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature, exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum

I recently learned about this exhibit of Beatrix Potter, that originated in London at the V&A museum and for the next six months (through June 9th), and is now in New York City at The Morgan Museum & Library. Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature “brings together artwork, books, manuscripts, and artifacts from several institutions in the United Kingdom, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Trust, and the Armitt Museum and Library. Paired with the Morgan’s exceptional collection of her picture letters, these objects trace how Potter’s innovative blend of scientific observation and imaginative storytelling shaped some of the world’s most popular children’s books.”

A touch of unique, cozy style and a quality piece of lighting, Matilda Goad’s interior décor offerings are regularly seen in home tours in House & Garden UK. This rattan wave pendant provides a different texture to either metal or fabric, and definitely can pair with a variety of décor aesthetics with its natural hue.

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Oh, I do hope this series becomes available soon in the states as it looks delicious and inspiring, both for the garden and the kitchen. Hosted by cookbook author and chef Raymond Blanc, the Royal Kitchen Garden series kicked off this past month on iTV with a new episode being released each week where Blanc uncovers some of the most incredible royal kitchen gardens across the UK in a fascinating culinary tour.

Also being released this coming Tuesday, March 5th, David Charter’s new book Royal Audience: 70 Years, 13 Presidents. Offering an “in-depth look at international relations and interpersonal intrigue, peeling back the curtain on the ‘special relationship’ between the U.S. and the U.K. as embodied by the Queen herself—charting Elizabeth II’s distinctive brand of one-to-one diplomacy through the eyes of those who experienced it firsthand. From horse-riding with Ronald Reagan, to sharing her recipe for scones with Dwight D. Eisenhower, to striking up a kinship with the Bushes and the Obamas, the Queen’s interactions with her U.S. counterparts often acted as a restorative tonic for relations between two nations, even when political tensions ran high. Not all royal encounters with U.S. presidents went smoothly, though. Between Jackie Kennedy’s complaints about Elizabeth and the Queen Mother’s shock at being kissed on the lips by Jimmy Carter, there was never a dull moment.”

This cookbook just looks like a whole lot of fun, common kitchen sense making time cooking a joy that really isn’t common in the sense that you just need to be taught, but THEN it becomes common. Written in rhyme covering many of the basics that provide the foundational knowledge of navigating in the kitchen well and paired with witty illustrations, here is an example of what you will find inside: “The rhymes provide reassuring – and memorable – answers to the culinary conundrums we often face: How long should I boil an egg? What’s the best way to crush garlic? How do I make mayonnaise, a martini or indeed the perfect cup of tea? Tara’s playful take on these food quandaries seems effortless but belies her knowledgeable and carefully researched approach to cooking.”

Released this past February (the 20th), if you are looking for an enjoyable read and to learn along the way, How to Butter Toast may just be what you are looking for.

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Premiering at Sundance Film Festival this past January, Shayda, executive produced by Cate Blanchett’s Dirty Films, won the audience award in the world cinema dramatic competition and tells the story of “a young Iranian mother who takes refuge in an Australian women’s shelter with her six-year-old daughter during the two weeks of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Her path to freedom is jeopardized when her estranged husband arrives.” Have a look at the trailer below, and look for it to be released nationwide later this March with a limited release in LA and NY today.

Francophiles! Alice Nevers returns to MHzChoice with its sixth season on Tuesday March 5th. Marine Delterme stars as Alice Nevers, the title character, a tough and tenacious criminal prosecutor in Paris who is in a professional and personal partnership with police captain Fred Marquand (Jean-Michel Tinivelli). And season 6 begins with a bang, a shocking murder that the duo have to investigate amid tensions between them. Have a look at a peek of the first episode below.

Small (8″) Copper Frying Pan, My French Country Home

If you are looking for a well-made copper pan, perfect for your morning eggs, something I make in my own copper pan each morning, this 8″ refurbished French pan from Sharon Santoni’s boutique is one to scoop up. You will have and use it for the rest of your life, and I especially love that it has a cast iron handle instead of a brass handle. My preferred choice as it will never get hot to the touch.

Copper Frying Pan

Vivi et Margot Artisan Round Wire Basket

One more for the kitchen and garden, to add a touch of France – a wire basket to hold, well, just about anything you want it to hold. 🙂

It may be snowing right now in Bend outside my window as I type, but spring is coming and soon we will be outside pottering about, but until then, a great new book to help us learn how to economize but still create a garden we love. Anya Lautenbach “reveals the plants that will give you the best long-term value for money, tips for choosing the varieties that will thrive in your garden year after year, and projects for making the most of your propagated cuttings and seedlings. The Money-Saving Gardener proves that a stunning garden doesn’t need to cost the earth or break the bank.”

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Many have asked for sourcing of a pie crust tea table similar to my own in my Fireplace Snug recently shared on the blog, and here is one to welcome home, and at a great price as well. Along with this treasured find, all of One King’s Lane Living Room items are 25% off. I have shopped a few more finds below, but be sure to peruse the site directly if you are in the market for something in particular – a sofa, that cozy armchair, for example.


A spring and summer casual, yet perfect shirt dress for a variety of occasions.

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As I mentioned above, winter is still upon us and even when spring arrives, there will be a slight chill in the air for walks or pottering in the morning in the garden, and these quilted coats would be my go-to choice, and two of the colors below are available at a nice discount from Ralph Lauren.

Tory Burch Mid-Rise Slim Straight Leg Jeans

Being posted tomorrow (Saturday March 2nd) on the blog is TSLL’s annual Spring Shopping Guide and one more peek of what will be included is this pair of slim straight leg jeans from Tory Burch. Don’t miss a Style post when you sign up for TSLL’s Style Inspiration newsletter (free).

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Vince Fine Cotton Mac Coat in cotton

Loving this Mac coat for spring and early fall, and at a great price for a quality item from Vince.

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Oh, this looks to be a hoot of a series, starring Kate Winslet in The Regime. Described as a “darkly comedic, this six-part limited series tells the story of life within the walls of a modern authoritarian regime as it unravels. After not leaving the palace for quite some time, Chancellor Elena Vernham (Winslet) becomes increasingly paranoid and unstable and turns to a volatile soldier, Herbert Zubak (Matthias Schoenaerts), as an unlikely confidant. As Zubak’s influence over the chancellor grows, Elena’s attempts to expand her power eventually result in the palace and the country fracturing around her.” Have a look at the trailer and look for it to premiere on HBO/Max this Sunday March 3rd.

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A new month begins and having savored our extra day in February, I am ready to become ever more eager to welcome spring.

But first, thank you to everyone who extended birthday wishes this past Wednesday. I had the most love-filled day, more than I could have ever imagined could have been felt, and TSLL Community most definitely played a role in why this occurred. Thank you very, very much.

As for plans this weekend, whether or not it is snowing, I am determined to get out into the garden and cut back my Karl Foerster grasses, and then I will be back inside to warm up as necessary :). After tending to French homework, I look forward to a weekend free to follow wherever my energy takes me and rest up for another full week next week, but while I am resting, don’t forget to stop by TSLL as the Annual Spring Shopping Guide will be released tomorrow. I have found more than 70 hand-picked clothing items along with accessories that are worth exploring to update your spring capsule wardrobe, along with a few ways to save a bit of money along the way. 🙂

If you are a TOP Tier Member, March’s A Cuppa Moments is up and ready for your to watch with more than 50 minutes of chatting about books, films, series, finds and three very different walks with the pups plus much, much more. If you are not yet a TOP Tier Member and would like to learn more about the many benefits, be sure to click here.

Thank you for stopping by today and may your upcoming weekend be full of engrossing activities, spontaneous laughs and of course, many everyday moments to savor. Until tomorrow, bonne journée.

~OBE Raymond Blanc, French chef long-time having resided in England, mentioned above in his latest series, has a hotel, garden and cooking school in Oxfordshire, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons that I hope someday to visit and enroll in and maybe you will too. Tour it and learn more about it here. [CN Traveler]

~Paris Fashion Week was in full swing recently, and one collection that caught my eye was Dries Van Noten,

~As I step further into March in the garden, I will be pruning back my hydrangeas – here is guide as to how to do it properly [Gardeners’ World]

~I have been enthralled with the story of Christian Dior’s sister, now that episode 5 of AppleTV+’s The New Look series has concluded, and came across this article to learn a little bit more about her amazing life of courage, survival and upholding her brother’s design house name and history. [Vogue]

~5 mistakes to avoid when buying a house in Paris [The Earful Tower]

~A wonderful interview with British actor Cush Jumbo about her new series on Apple TV Criminal Record. I enjoyed listening to her share her approach to choosing roles as well as living in London when people recognize her but errantly think the actor she “resembles” is American (as she has become well-known for her roles in The Good Wife and The Good Fight) [NPR]

~If you are looking for color inspiration paired with chic décor styling, look no further than this Paris apartment tour. I am loving the chandelier in the living room and still trying to source it. [Elle Decor]

~Staying in Paris a bit longer, an article I am saving for future reference when planning visits to Paris – The Insider’s Guide to Chocolate in Paris [WSJ]

~From the French Michelin star chef whose San Francisco restaurant is one I hope to someday dine at, chef Dominique Crenn has teamed up with Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki to transform a hotel in the Faubourg-Montmartre neighborhood – review of La Fantaisie Hotel in Paris [T + L]

~A beautiful reminder that beautiful gardens take time. Enjoy this tour of an Oxfordshire manor house’s garden that began being cultivated anew 20 years ago and is only now revealing what was envisioned. [House & Garden UK]

~And one more tour, but this time a tour of an English home in Kensington full of color and pattern that magically just works brilliantly [House & Garden UK]

~A hidden gem in the ‘other’ south of France [Frenchly]

~This past Saturday, the SAG awards were live on Netflix for the first time, and it was quite the fun show right from the beginning with a reunion of the SAG award winning stars of The Devil Wears Prada (Streep won for Best Actress 18 years ago for her role as Miranda Priestly, and the cast had been nominated for Best Ensemble in a film). Have a look at how they recreated some of the most memorable lines and reversed who uttered them. 😉


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16 thoughts on “This & That: March 1, 2024

  1. Very interested in the productivity book! I’ve always savored a seasonal reset, times to shut out the constant noise and truly ponder and observe the inspiring changes going on around us, and within. As HSP, burnout seems to be my middle name. We have to “fight” a lot harder to keep equilibrium in our life and this book looks to hold a lot of wisdom.

    The memory book also intrigues, as someone who has the perspective of losing the dearest person in my life, I’d love to read about ways to hold those precious memories closer for longer.

    How to butter toast, count me in. I love the simplification of people’s years of experience shared. Life hacks, I believe is a term used…

    And French chocolates, uh yeah! Thanks for all you explore and bring to us, Shannon.

    1. Melissa,

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing what spoke to you and introducing us to you a bit along the way! 🙂 And to conclude with chocolate, always a very delicious idea. 🙂 Wishing you a most wonderful weekend!

    2. Dear Melissa, I am so sorry for your loss, the subsequent grief, and those memories, the fine, recurring memories that often appear at the least suspected moments. I understand. I have not read this book, but I am considering it. After 12 years of learning to live around that grief, my experiences are always seeking a better way. I will keep you in my thoughts. Best wishes.

      1. Lucy Augustine, I’m sorry to hear of your loss and grief, as well. We’re just never the same, are we? I do love the saying though, We do not grieve without first loving and we do not love without gaining more than we could ever lose. I hold onto that tight.
        I will keep you in my thoughts, too. It makes the world a warmer place. All the best to you.

  2. Hi, Shannon!

    Thanks for another delightful post! I’m looking forward to reading Royal Audience. The late Queen was such a remarkable woman with a distinctive diplomatic touch. Another addition to my royal library.

    I, too, have been enjoying New Look on Apple+. The story of Catherine Dior was unknown to me. The article you shared helped fill in the gaps.

    And, I think I have fallen in love with the wire basket! 😊

    Happy belated birthday! Wishing you and all in the TSLL community a great weekend!


    1. Carrie,

      Thank you for stopping by, and isn’t Catherine’s life journey . . . there are almost no words. Absolutely amazing, and getting to know Christian along the way, I love the genesis of his eponymous line even more than I already did. 🙂 Tickled you found items that caught your eye this week, I always love reading what readers gravitate towards. Wishing you a most wonderful weekend and thank you very much for the birthday wishes. xo

  3. Good afternoon.

    Out of curiosity, I looked up ways to watch Raymond Blanc, the Royal Kitchen Garden, because it is definitely something I’d be interested in, and found videos of Series 1 on YouTube. Looks like a good one.
    The Money-Saving Gardener was immediately placed in my cart.
    I loved the DWP reunion at the SAG awards!
    Enjoy a restful weekend.

  4. I’ve also enjoyed watching The New Look. So much I wasn’t aware of with Dior and Chanel. And Catherine Dior, what a courageous person. Thank you for the link to the article on her.

    1. Mary,

      It is a wonderful series, isn’t it! So happy to hear you too are enjoying it. Wednesday evenings are a treat when I know a new episode awaits. Happy to share the article and thank you for stopping by today. 🙂

  5. T&T, yes! 🙂
    What caught my eye:
    – Why we remember
    – Women, money, power
    – How to butter toast
    – Vince Mac Coat.

    And I am looking forward to check out the articles, especially the one about Miss Dior. The New Look was very much appreciated in my household, so thanks again, Shannon, for such a great suggestion. 🙂

    Enjoy your weekend and have a lovely time with Nelle and Norman! XO

  6. Hello Shannon,

    Belated happy birthday wishes!

    Thank you for the review of the Audience book about QEII. I just ordered it using the link you provided.

    I thought you might also like to read two books by Justine Picardie — one on Coco Chanel and the other on Dior’s sister. She writes beautifully and has a lovely daily Instagram post (and she loves dogs too). Another book with good reviews is the upcoming one by Charles Spencer on his experience attending boarding school – I think titled A Strictly Private Education.

    Thank you for your blog posts! I always enjoy reading them. Looking forward to hearing about your next travel adventures.

    1. Stephanie,

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! I will definitely be looking up her biographies on both of these women! You read my mind as I am now most curious about both Chanel and Catherine. 🙂 And tickled to hear you found a book that caught your interest. I do hope you enjoy! Wishing you a wonderful Sunday.

  7. Lovely T&TT as always Shannon. How to remember is definitely on my list. I would love to see my brain recording. I have vivid memories going back to age two and those memories are as clear as day even now. Also, how to butter toast is a book I think we all need for some light hearted reading
    Great article on Cathetine Dior. First came across the connection in Dior’s museum, which is not far from where I live . It’s in Granville Normandy on the coast. Have visited it a fair few times. Never get tired of it. 😊

    1. Kameela,

      Thank you for sharing and reminding us about Dior’s museum and where it is. I didn’t know about it and would love to visit. How wonderful to have it so close. 🙂

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