This & That: March 5, 2021

Mar 05, 2021

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From British to Francophile finds, so many. A wonderful true tail (misspelling intended) of love and friendship, classic items for your late winter and early spring wardrobe, gardening favorites, new much-talked about book releases as well as two highly acclaimed and reviewed favorites. Of course, there is still much, much more.


The Barbizon: The Hotel That Set Women Free by Paulina Bren

Upon reading the review of Paulina Bren’s new book this past weekend, I wanted to share as it captured my curiosity immediately. New York City’s legendary hotel for women, The Barbizon was “built in 1927 at the height of the Roaring Twenties, the Barbizon Hotel was intended as a safe haven for the ‘Modern Woman’ seeking a career in the arts”. Over the years, up until 1981 when men were welcomed, residents included Sylvia Plath, Titanic survivor Molly Brown, actresses Grace Kelly, Liza Minnelli, Ali MacGraw, Jaclyn Smith, Phylicia Rashad, and Cybill Shepherd. Oh my goodness. This will be a fascinating read.

Lifespan: Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To by David Sinclair PhD, Matthew D. LaPlante 

A New York Times bestseller released in 2019, Lifespan was positively received by critics and readers alike. Dr. David Sinclair, “leading world authority on genetics and longevity, reveals a bold new theory for why we age. As he writes: ‘Aging is a disease, and that disease is treatable.’ Visit the frontlines of research that is pushing the boundaries on our perceived scientific limitations, revealing incredible breakthroughs—many from Dr. David Sinclair’s own lab at Harvard—that demonstrate how we can slow down, or even reverse, aging. The key is activating newly discovered vitality genes, the descendants of an ancient genetic survival circuit that is both the cause of aging and the key to reversing it. Recent experiments in genetic reprogramming suggest that in the near future we may not just be able to feel younger, but actually become younger.” My interest is piqued.

When Harry Met Minnie: A True Story of Love and Friendship by Martha Teichner

Perhaps you too know and enjoy television journalist Martha Teichner from her segments on CBS Sunday Morning (her food explorations are my favorite), but did you know, she is a devoted dog lover? Her new memoir about her own dog and the welcoming of a new canine companion who needed a home will warm your heart.

British Find

Oprah’s Interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, CBS

Just in case you haven’t heard about the most anticipated interview in years by Oprah, (I exaggerate, but not really), set your DVRs for Sunday evening – March 7th on CBS when Oprah sits down for a two hour interview with Harry and Meghan. (Viewing in the UK? Find it Monday on ITV.) Have a look at the teaser below, and don’t worry, I didn’t forget about Harry’s afternoon with James Corden – that must-see video is included at thte end of today’s post. 🙂


Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food by Julia Turshen

Released just this past week, Julia Turshen’s new cookbook is her first collection of recipes featuring a healthier take on the simple, satisfying comfort food for which she’s known. “In addition to her tried-and-true recipes, readers will find Julia’s signature elements—her ‘Seven Lists’ (Seven Things I Learned From Being a Private Chef that Make Home Cooking Easier; Seven Ways to Use Leftover Buttermilk; Seven Ways to Use Leftover Egg Whites or Egg Yolks), menu suggestions, and helpful adaptations for dietary needs, along with personal essays and photos and gorgeous food photography.”


Dream Spaces by Victoria Hagan

If you wanted to drift away to beautiful decor spaces around the world, interior designer Victoria Hagan’s most recent coffeetable book will do just that. Known for her redefinition of American Classic design, this book was released back in 2017 (her first in 2010 is worth checking out as well, Interior Portraits). Below is a picture from her Instagram to provide a hint of what you will discover.

Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson

While released more than five years ago, Cheryl Mendelson’s book comes highly recommended from those in the decor world, and in fact, I saw it this past weekend in NYTimes Book Review for Decor Books to have in your library. “Choosing fabrics, cleaning china, keeping the piano in tune, making a good fire, folding a fitted sheet, setting the dining room table, keeping surfaces free of food pathogens, watering plants, removing stains — Home Comforts addresses the meanings as well as the methods of hands — on housekeeping to help you manage everyday chores, find creative solutions to modern domestic dilemmas, and enhance the experience of life at home.”

Mendelson also shares “home safety and security information such as a summary of laws applicable to the home, including privacy, accident liability, contracts, and domestic employees and more in this practical, good-humored, historic, philosophical, even romantic, guidebook to the art of household management.” Quite a wealth of a resource.

Perfect English by Ros Byam Shaw

Let’s slip away to English interior designs, shall we? Published in 2018, if you are looking for not only inspiration for your home regarding how to incorporate more English classic aesthetics, but also want to know where to source furniture and details, this is your book.

“The book’s chapters—Plain English, English Eccentric, English Rose, English Country House and Classic English—reflect the many and varied facets of English style, and each section ends with pages devoted to suggestions and ideas for furnishing a house in all these versions of English style. At the back of the book, there is also a comprehensive listing of suppliers to help readers create their very own take on perfect English style.”

Francophile Find

Ines de la Fressange’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection w/Uniqlo

Over the past ten years, Ines de la Fressange’s books have been profiled and shared here on TSLL (Parisian style, decor book, Parisian Chic encore, Look Book – year-long style and men’s style). Now with her new collection (shop the coat she is wearing here) with Uniqlo, it is one worth sharing as well. I have shopped a few of the items below, and be sure to check out the entire collection here.

Le Chameau wellington boots, Iris Jersey Lined Boots (more styles and many colors)

Homes & Gardens shared a list of the best wellington boots in 2021, and the #2 boot (behind Hunter) were France’s own Le Chameau. “Le Chameau are the only rubber boots to be handmade by a single master bootmaker, each pair is unique”. Beginning in 1927 in Cherbourg, France, and eventually training in Morocco and moving to Normandy with trained artisans, the name was found – Le Chameau (camel in French) as a nod to the journey of the company. While I do love my Hunter wellies, I have always wanted to add a French pair to my gardening shoe wardrobe, and hopefully that will happen someday soon. 🙂

Nose: The Art of Making Parfum

Ah! A film for the senses, particularly the nose, but the new documentary detailing the parfumerie of Dior in Grasse, France, will delight your eyes too I have no doubt. Released this past February, have a look at the trailer below and look for it wherever you stream your films.


Felco Secateurs, classic manual hand pruners

Having a dependable pair of secateurs (or hand pruners to us in the states) is a must for gardeners, and the classic go-to (seen in the hands of Gardeners’ World host – Monty Don and other guest hosts) is the Felco secateurs. An investment most definitely, but if well cared for, will last for many, many years.


Strappy Espadrille Sandals, Banana Republic

Spring is nearly here and summer will be next, so why not scoop up some lovely summer sandals at a great price from Banana Republic?

J.Crew refined silk-cashmere wrap (navy, ivory or black)

Scarves year-round is my motto, and this new silk-cashmere wrap from J.Crew is available at a fair price.

Maje Cashmere sailor-style sweater (navy or red stripes)

When I saw this classic sailor-style stripe sweater with buttons, I saved it immediately. I haven’t purchased it yet, but I have been wanting to welcome this is exact style into my wardrobe. A bit pricey, but one that will be worn for years to come. Remember, cost-per-wear.

Maje Basket bag in raffia and leather

Just about to be released and just in time for the farmers markets, Maje’s raffia and leather tote would transition well for short trips to the market or simple a summer stroll.

~Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2021 collection~

While I normally share a recipe (above), I couldn’t help but share one of the outfits that caught my attention during Fashion Month these past couple of weeks. Yes, spring collections are hitting the stores, and while the pants seen above are from the upcoming fall collection, I think they would be wonderful for spring as well. Certainly something to get excited about when September rolls around. 🙂

One week into March, and the sunshine has been aplenty. Stepping out into the garden last weekend, I prepped the shrubs, cut back the Karl Foerster grasses and moved my Tulip Triffles out into the sunshine. I was delighted to see the tulips planted in the ground beginning to emerge and the snowdrops as well! Soon! Soon!

Inspired by Norman’s ability to relax often and regularly, this weekend, I will be staying home and slowing down a bit more. Time in the kitchen has been quite enjoyable as I step into making something after working during the day. This time is relaxing and ends with something delicious paired with a small glass of wine. Perfection. 🙂

I hope your week went well, and below I have quite a few articles and two videos to enjoy (especially the last one :)). Thank you for choosing to stop by today, and if you are a TOP Tier subscriber, be sure to check out this month’s A Cuppa Moments video conversation and join in on the monthly chat. As well, in a new podcast episode, I shared 21 Lessons Learned in my 42nd Year (ep. #302), and to help us step into spring with a bound, Wednesday’s post shared 8 Ideas for Making Spring Truly Bloom. Until Monday, bonne journée!

~British gardener Charlie McCormick shares his garden design secrets from inspirations to practicalities [Homes & Garden UK]

~But we must not forget Monty. 🙂 Here is his March jobs to tend to list (and peeks at his garden). Taping of the 53rd season of Gardeners’ World begins this Monday, so look for the premiere to be later this month.

~7 Ways to expand your horizon and push for new frontiers [LifeHack]

~Discover how the rebuilding of Notre Dame in Paris is coming along nearly two years later [ABC News]

~A must-read for better health and a daily approach to eating well – How some foods are addictive by design, and not healthy [The New York Times]

~The wealth of having a lemon tree in one’s yard! How lovely would that be! Well, author of 101 Cookbooks has just this dream-come-true and shares Sunny Citrus Recipes + How to Use Lots of Citrus

~If you are ready to start spring, tour Clare Pike’s Cotswolds garden full of spring blooms [House & Gardens UK]

~Explore how Lupin has portrayed Paris in a different light, even more captivating than ever before perhaps [Architectural Digest]

~One more inspired by the French gentleman caper – Filmed in Paris: In the Footsteps of Lupin [Secrets of Paris]

~Okay, one more with Lupin star Omar Sy (alongside Bradley Cooper).

~14 Tips for being a polite guest in a French Home [French Today]

~Peonies are one of my favorite flowers, and while my own peonies will need some years to mature, this is a helpful guide to help ensure they indeed do grow well [House & Garden UK]

~Introverts: How to set boundaries more effectively and lovingly [Introvert, Dear]

~Can the garden save us? The Power of Nature and Gardening [Veranda]

~Home Tour: A fresh design approach to a classic Somerset cottage (I especially love the refurbished clawfoot and the inspiration which created the primary suite) [House & Garden UK]

~Saving the best for last, if you haven’t seen it already, you are in for a treat, and I could definitely watch this segment with Prince Harry and James Corden more than a few times. Get ready to laugh, be awed and enjoy.

31 thoughts on “This & That: March 5, 2021

  1. Please stop with the books, I can’t keep up 😂😂.

    Currently reading “Vintage 1954” and just ordered The Barbizon.

    1. Doesn’t The Barbizon sound fascinating! I know, pacing myself is a muscle I do my best to keep in shape. Not easy! What a lovely dilemma. ☺️😉. Thank you for stopping by Connie.

  2. I had not heard of The Nose and I am so excited to watch it! I love my Le Chameau boots but they don’t get much wear here in SoCal. Thanks for another intriguing list.

    1. It looks to be a lovely documentary and is already receiving high praise. Ah! Wellies in CA, I understand. Flip flops/slips are more ideal. ☺️ Thank you for visiting blog today. Have a lovely weekend. 😌

  3. Oh more good book recommendations! I love reading about life in New York so the Barbizon looks fascinating. Also thanks for recommending the book I am invincible on Instagram- am awaiting its delivery to share with my mom as we both like reading books like this – we are both big fans of the Twyla Tharp books and this sound a bit similar. My reading this week has been non fiction – have you seen the new book by Isabel Allende called The Soul of Woman. It is a slim book but very interesting. I am also awaiting delivery of the book On This Day She: putting women back into history, one day at at time. Every day of the year a different woman is featured and there is a little of her history. Looks fascinating. Hope you have a great weekend.

    1. Tara, Thank you very much for BOTH recommendations. I appreciation the focus and subject of each of them. And you are absolutely spot on – Norma Kamali’s book has many similarities with Tharp’s most recent books. I think you will absolutely enjoy. Thank you very much for stopping by and happy weekend! ☺️

  4. Thank you for all the great suggestions, Shannon! I can’t wait to bring out my Felco’s that I invested in last year. Highly recommended but, beware, very sharp. I pruned a piece of my fingertip… I hope the Megan and Harry interview will air in Norway as well.

    Have a lovely weekend! 💋

  5. There is a fictionalized version of the Barbizon in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar – she painted it rather like a sorority house for the post-college set, with maid service. I bet the flies on those walls had plenty of entertainment!
    Thanks for the recommendation to watch The Nose. It looks delightful. Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Megan, thank you for stopping by. 😌 That is right – I just learned this was the location from which she factionalized her writings for the Bell Jar. I had not known that until I learned of The Barbizon (the book). Oh, and yes, what stories those walls could tell! ☺️ Have a lovely weekend as well.

  6. The video with Prince Harry and James Corden is so cute! It’s a great look at Prince Harry and what a nice guy he is. I’m really looking forward to Oprah’s interview with Meghan and Harry, especially the latest accusations from former employees and the insights of 23 Rules.
    I briefly lived in The Barbizon in the late 70’s in the tiniest room, but the public spaces were so grandiose. In one large room there was a television set which was avidly watched by a large crowd in the afternoons for the soap operas.

  7. This may give you a chuckle, but I own Home Comforts and find it just the thing to read when I can’t quite fall asleep. A few minutes spent reading about ways to clean marble or how to care for draperies knocks me right out.

  8. I an attest to the longevity of Felco hand pruners. I’ve had mine for literally decades! Parts are replaceable too, so it’s a sound investment.

  9. A luxurious abundance of recommendations, as always! And as always, thank you! My mother and I got together for dinner and watched “David Suchet on the Orient Express.” We thoroughly enjoyed it; thank you for mentioning it in a previous post. I’m ready to book at ticket!

    1. Elizabeth, Thank you fir sharing how you enjoyed the video with David Suchet. It was my mother who brought it to my attention. She and I as I sounds like you both were as well, were further motivated to travel on board! How elegant and full of such rich history. Thank you again fir sharing. Your comment brought an immediate smile. 😌

  10. Another satisfying collection of books and items for consideration and savoring.

    Someday, I would love to read a post telling us how you manage to do so much, so well.

    1. Jasmina, thank you very much for stopping by. 😌 My curiosity drives me, and sometimes keeps me reading or scrolling into my sleep hours, but a lovely dilemma to have and for which I am grateful. 💛 Wishing you a lovely weekend.

  11. The interview with Prince Harry was quite amusing! Not something I would normally watch. I am getting into “Anne with an E” which I didn’t think was for adults when I first saw it. Boy, was I wrong! It’s wonderful!! It’s on Netflix. Spending the weekend redoing the spices and getting seeds started. Our weather is to be delightful. Have a wonderful weekend.

  12. So many yums–oof those Oscar de la Renta outfits!!
    But–the Victoria Hagen Insta post literally took my breath away and I actually said out loud, (to the sleeping cats),”That’s it. That’s my home.” Beautiful. Goals. Serious goals.

    XOXO to you & the boys, enjoy your weekend!

    1. Rona, the desk and entire setting of that space immediately captured my awe as well when I first saw it. ☺️ Have a wonderful weekend as well and thank you for stopping by. 😌

  13. The Barbizon sounds such an interesting read!
    And Le Chameau wellies, how beautiful! I’ve added a pair in the Bleu Fonce to my wish list for when my Hunters tire out.

    Being a Brit, you can imagine quite the stir is happening here in the UK about the Oprah interview. I’m very intrigued to watch and will be watching on Monday night here. I feel the tone will be quite different to that of the James Corden interview with Harry!

    Have a lovely weekend, I too will be slowing down this weekend – starting with enjoying This & That on this Saturday morning with a ‘cuppa’

    Have a lovely weekend !

  14. Shannon,
    You suggested the Dig as a movie. It was BEAUTIFUL! So insightful. Than you so much. I plan on buying a hard copy of the book as I think I will have plenty of wisdom to high light!

    1. Lisa,
      So lovely to hear! Tickled you enjoyed it so much. You have suggested a good idea. I think I would learn so much more after reading the book. What a fascinating true story. Thank you for stopping by and sharing. 🙂

  15. I read The Dollhouse about the Barbizon Hotel. That story was a wonderful read. I think I will put this book on my summer reading list.

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