This & That: March 8, 2024
Friday March 8, 2024

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If you enjoyed one or all of Marie Benedict’s historical novels about women who made history, I think you will want to explore Stephanie Drae’s new historical novel, Becoming Madam Secretary, that will be released this coming Tuesday. Praised by Benedict herself, Becoming Madam Secretary tells the story of the first female cabinet member in US History, Frances Perkins, appointed by FDR to be his Secretary of Labor who served from 1933-1945, some of the most tumultuous economic times in America’s history.

Also being released on Tuesday, podcast host, spiritual director, and bestselling author of The Next Right Thing, Emily P. Freeman offers guidance in her new book How to Walk into a Room to help us recognize when it’s time to move on from situations that no longer fit, allowing us to find new spaces where we can flourish and grow.

The book’s focus aims to help us “begin to uncover the silent, nuanced, and hidden arrows for anyone asking questions like: How do I know if it’s time to move on? What if I stay and nothing changes? What if I leave and everything falls apart?”

A novel that has been getting quite a bit of praise for its astute awareness of personal conversations shared between loved ones – romantic, no longer romantic and parent and child, Roxana Robinson’s second novel, Leaving begins at the opera where two college sweethearts, now thirty years later, happen to run into each other, one is long divorced and now happily living on her own with her dog, the other is unhappily married and with an adult child who steps into the middle and sets an ultimatum should her father choose to divorce. Drama much like an opera, and even the ending, if you know how Tosca ends, will remind you of the drama only an opera can bring.

I came across this mug and wanted to share. Simple, yet unique, and definitely speaks to anyone who, like me, loves her stripes. ☺️

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Another Agatha Christie murder mystery has been adapted, and this one is star-packed. Murder is Easy tells the story of Luke Fitzwilliam (David Jonsson) who finds himself on the trail of a serial killer after meeting Miss Pinkerton (Penelope Wilton) on a train to London. Have a look at the trailer below and watch it now on BritBox.

British history and lit students and majors, count me in with you! A book to add to your library as a wonderful resource to be reminded of all of the talented writers, in this case women, who are often overlooked in British history while Shakespeare continues to be at the top of the known list of Brit writers.

Shakespeare’s Sisters begins chronologically with “the sumptuous coronation of Queen Elizabeth in the mid-sixteenth century [exploring] the private lives of four women writers working at a time when women were legally the property of men. Some readers may have heard of Mary Sidney, accomplished poet and sister of the famous Sir Philip Sidney, but few will have heard of Aemilia Lanyer, the first woman in the seventeenth century to publish a book of original poetry, which offered a feminist take on the crucifixion, or Elizabeth Cary, who published the first original play by a woman, about the plight of the Jewish princess Mariam. Then there was Anne Clifford, a lifelong diarist who fought for decades against a patriarchy that tried to rob her of her land in one of England’s most infamous inheritance battles.

“These women had husbands and children to care for and little support for their art, yet against all odds they defined themselves as writers, finding rooms of their own where doors had been shut for centuries. Targoff flings those doors open, revealing the treasures left by these extraordinary women; in the process, she helps us see the Renaissance in a fresh light, creating a richer understanding of history and offering a much-needed female perspective on life in Shakespeare’s day.”

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A delicious new cookbook from British TV chef Nisha Katona and author, Bold, aptly “named after Nisha Katona’s signature punchy cooking style, brave use of spicing and ingredient combinations, and in honour of the first of her hugely popular Mowgli Street Food restaurants, set up on 2014 on Bold Street, Liverpool.”

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While released a handful of years ago, this is a cookbook for lovers of French food enjoyably made in our own kitchens. Cathleen Clarity’s Fabulously French Cooking cookbook “will teach you how to conjure the taste of France in your home kitchen”.

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So in last week’s This & That post I shared again how much I was thoroughly enjoying the series The New Look and am have become intrigued about Catherine Dior. And I want to thank long-time TSLL reader Stephanie who shared with me biographer Justine Picardie and her work on the two women holding much of the focus of the series alongside Christian Dior.

Having written biographies on both Catherine Dior as well as Chanel, it is Miss Dior, in which Catherine Dior is the focus, that serendipitously enough SJ Bennett (author of the mystery series – Her Majesty Investigates) directly recommends Picardie’s biography on Miss Dior at the end of her latest book as she took inspiration for her plot from what she learned about the treatment of women in the Resistance movement by one of the most notorious torturers who worked for the Nazis and was also French, the treatment that Catherine would have endured in an effort to try and break her.

Published in 2021, my copy just arrived yesterday (pic below), and I cannot wait to begin reading it this weekend.

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Perhaps you viewed this documentary back in 2016 when it originally debuted, but if not, I have good news. Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse returned to cinemas last week, and thankfully, one of central Oregon’s boutique theaters is showing it. For one night only in our case, but I will definitely be there to watch. Click the link above to see where it may be showing close to you.

The film “steps into the gardens of some of the world’s best loved artists and explores the loving care which went into creating these stunning private spaces which the world would come to love”. Have a look at the trailer below.

Spring is near, and then summer of course follows, and finding the comfortable, yet stylish clothing items to wear for leisure has begun. These linen shirt dresses are on my list, and many of the favorite colors and prints go fast, such as these two new colors below, so be sure to pick one up if its speaking to your capsule wardrobe preferences. 🙂

One more from F & E. Again, it’s the linen that caught my eye, and I can see wearing these when I am walking on the coast in the summer when there is a bit of breeze or for summer evenings. Casual, breathable, timeless and easily paired with multiple tops and shoes.

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I know many TSLL readers include La Mer’s original face cream in their regular skincare routine (here is a detailed list of my favorite items in my routine), so I wanted to bring a find I took advantage of this past fall and am taking advantage of again this week.

For the price of the 2oz jar, you receive an additional 0.5oz jar which I put in my travel tote. In fact, it was the small jar that accompanied me to England this past fall and thus took up less space. It was ideal. And if you have a Nordstrom’s card, with your purchase, not only do you save $100 on this limited edition purchase, but you also receive 10x the points through March 10th.

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Nordstrom, Bonus Points weekend

Speaking of Nordstrom’s Bonus Points weekend, I have done some shopping for you as this opportunity to build up points runs through Sunday March 10th.

Clé de Peau Beauté concealer, spf 27

The luxury concealer that Robin Siegel, a make-up artist that tended to Jennifer Aniston while on FRIENDS shared with Harper’s Bazaar (UK) used as it provides “six hours of hydration and protects the delicate skin around your eyes with SPF 27. After four weeks, skin’s smoothness, hydration and radiance improves.”

While my current concealer has a ways to go, when it needs to be replaced, I will be picking up this brand and giving it a try.

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We may lose an hour on Sunday morning with the time change here in the states, but that means we are one hour closer to the kick off of the Academy Awards. 🙂 Hey, I am looking for the positive! 😉 After having watched the BAFTAs and the SAG awards and looking at the winners from the Golden Globes, I have my list of predictions set, but at the Oscars, you just never know for certain until the winner’s name is announced. Watch it Live at 7pm (eastern) or 4pm (Pacific) on ABC.

I have a feeling if you watch and enjoy Grey’s Anatomy, you already know when it will return for its belated premiere (March 14th), but just in case, I didn’t want to skip over including it in the Friday before its premiere next Thursday. Its 20th season (I can still remember where I was living when I watched the first season and began becoming a fan of the cast), enjoy stepping back into the hospital and the lives of the cast that keeps holding viewers’ interest. Here is a look at the trailer below.

Now, I will share I didn’t want the entire first season of Eugene Levy’s The Reluctant Traveler, but I just might watch the entire second season. Why? Because it is all about Europe. Premiering today, March 8th, on AppleTV+, have a look at the trailer below and enjoy his sardonic and wry narration as only Eugene Levy can do as gets back to his globe-trotting ways.

While this play is near the end of its run, it has been receiving strong praise from critics and general audience members during its showing in London. “Sam Mendes directs Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton, Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud and Tuppence Middleton as Elizabeth Taylor, in this fierce and funny new play by Jack Thorne, offering a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity.”

The Motive and the Cue, inspired by Letters from an Actor by William Redfield and John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet by Richard L. Sterne, looks like my kind of play, immense back-and-forth dialogue, a glimpse into a world most of us have no idea as to what takes place, and a simple, yet stylish retro setting. Have a look at a few of the clips from the play below and go see it if you can before March 23rd.


We may have experienced an entire day of beautiful snowfall on Tuesday, but in a matter of 24 hours, the sun was out and the juxtaposition of the crisp, cool snow with the bright blue sky presented picturesque walks (no filter on the photo above) that stopped me in my tracks.

As temperatures gradually begin to rise, I will be sowing seeds this weekend and finally savoring the cutting back of my grasses in the garden. A venture to the mountain I think has to be included as we won’t have many more of these days to do so before long, and with a few new books that arrived including Miss Dior mentioned above, I look forward to much reading as well.

What will you be up to this weekend? I hope there will be time to do what tickles your curiosity as well as the opportunity to rejuvenate and just be as much as you need.

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to explore and shop the 80+ hand-picked items in TSLL’s Annual Spring Shopping Guide posted this past Saturday, as well as tune in to the new podcast episode exploring a key concept to understand when it comes to wise investments as well as a new British tv series I absolutely loved and think you will too as it was selected for the Petit Plaisir. As well, Monday’s Motivational post focused on the difference between Contentment and Complacency prompted TSLL reader and member Kirsten S. to share, “I so enjoyed your last blog post on Contentment. It’s been giving me so much to consider.” (thank you for sharing Kirsten 😌💛)

Thank you for stopping by today, and as this weekend in Britain is Mother’s Day, wishing all of the mothers and mother figures to children and our furry companions a most wonderful love-filled day full of appreciation for all that you do. Until Monday, bonne journée.

~Today is International Women’s Day, and this year’s theme is Inspire Inclusion. Learn more here.

~Gardeners’ World’s new season is just one week away! As we bid our time in anticipation, why not read Monty Don’s March Tips & Advice.

~Jo Rodgers shares ideas for what to buy for mums who are difficult-to-please on Mother’s Day [House & Garden UK]

~As we begin to step into the new gardening year, 17 simple garden ideas to explore [House & Garden UK]

~And since we’re on the topic of gardens, I completely missed this article that spotlighted friend of TSLL and guest of The Simple Sophisticate podcast (episode #355), Sandra Sigman and her new book French Blooms Gardens, Parks and Places to Visit in Paris on Foot [NYTimes], and speaking of Sandra, she is in Paris right now and capturing some fun IG Stories to follow as well as peeks into her Parisian apartment as it is being remodeled! (Psst, and she has a Paris guide that she is sharing for free! Be sure to reach out.)

~Insiders living in Paris share what not to miss and what they love about the City of Light. [W Magazine]

~If you will be traveling to Paris this summer for the Olympics, ideas for where to stay and dine. [House & Garden UK]

~Chanel’s Fall 2024 RTW collection revealed this past week in Paris was one of my favorites, with the inspiration drawn from Coco’s time in Deauville that brought forth a more casual chic to her brand name back in its infancy.

How to develop a strong sense of self [Zen Habits]

—Let’s talk fondue, and according to this article French fondue is the best fondue. [Taste]

~In memory of Iris Apfel, who lived a style-filled and formidable long life of 102 years – Remembering her Full Life in Full Looks [NYTimes, gift link]

~For my fellow HSPs out there! Do HSPs need a unique, quirky lifestyle? [Sensitive Refuge]

~The art of slowing down, in a museum [NYTimes, gift link]

~Well, we’ve waited a while, but I think season 3 of Hacks will be worth it. Here is the trailer and mark your calendars for its May 2nd return on Max.


~~Please note: TSLL is supported by you, readers who take the time to stop by (merci!), peruse and sometimes welcome into your life mentioned and recommended finds. Affiliate links are present in today’s post and may earn commissions for TSLL when you purchase. View TSLL’s full Privacy Policy here.

8 thoughts on “This & That: March 8, 2024

  1. Good morning!

    I watch the first episode of Murder is Easy Thursday night, and look forward to finishing it up tonight. I kept thinking the Luke Fitzwilliam character looked familiar and realized he reminded me of the young Lupin. I think I may enjoy The Reluctant Traveler in Europe and look forward to Hacks return.

    Apparently, I have missed something about Catherine Dior and imagine I will find myself going down a rabbit trail very soon. As I was reading about Shakespeare’s Sisters, I wondered how many books, plays, poems, etc., were written by women using a nom de plume. I think we would be surprised, and that makes me admire these women all the more. Speaking of women I admire, I was saddened to hear of the death of Iris Apfel. She is definitely someone to aspire to.

    I have bookmarked 3 of the articles on the different gardens and look forward to studying them a bit more. I have received the Lady of Shalott rose and it has been planted outside the bathroom window so I can admire it while in the bath.

    The article on HSP is very interesting. I have been referred to as “weird” on more than one occasion and have replied with, “I prefer the term quirky” 😁. But as the article stated, we “don’t owe it to anyone to be normal”. Just yesterday at work there was someone talking to another and she was so intense I had to leave my desk. Later another got agitated and I found myself feeling agitated, and when I realized it was over nothing I felt a little annoyed that she had gotten me worked up too. It’s like I “take on” the feelings of others, which is mostly good, but at times not so much.

    By the by. I shared the highlights of the latest podcast with my son and his fiancé. When I used the example of your stove they wanted to see it. I showed them a picture and they loved it!

    Enjoy your weekend.


    1. Good morning Michelle! ☺️ Always lovely to see you’ve popped around. 💛🫖

      Lady of Shalott! So tickled you have one of these beautiful roses! I adore the scent and think you will delight in its vigorously repeat blooms.

      Thank you for sharing the stove pics to your son and fiancée and the pods cats episode too! That means a lot. 😌

      You have a keen awareness of your surroundings, indeed a gift and something to celebrate. Thank you for sharing these examples.

      And speaking of Catherine Dior, I think you will delight in what you find! Enjoy the exploration about her life story.

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend and love to Abigail from N & N!

  2. I love the creme de la mer and stock up at sales. I have tried alternatives and dupes over the years but nothing compares to this gorgeous cream. I have even read articles claiming it’s nothing special but I can’t argue with the magnificent results! In Europe you can get it cheaper and tax free and they often have good sets too. Here Nordstrom is the best deal for sure.

    1. Liz,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with this brand and specifically, this crème – the original. My experience over the past now 8 years of using it has been the same as yours. I have ventured temporarily into other creams that purport better ingredients and this results, but my skin is what I listen to and I always return as quickly as I can to La Mer. Thank you for the reminder of buying while in Europe. 😌

  3. So many wonderful reads and thoughts and wonderful content to ponder. I listened (audiobook) to two biographies years ago – still have them on my Audible account – Christian Dior by Marie-France Pochna and Chanel by Lisa Chaney. They’re both from a few years ago. I am inspired to re-listen. Placing a number of books on my “to read” list – and think of you each week as I open my FT on Sunday mornings (it’s a week late – they don’t usually deliver to my locale, but, it’s a wonderful investment to have it mailed and to laise about with the pups, a cuppa or cup of coffee, watch the sun rise, and read the newspaper.

    Thank you for another lovely T&T!

    1. Abigail,

      Thank you for sharing these biographies (taking note! ☺️) Ah, you enjoy the weekend FT as well! I so enjoy reading it and “staying in touch” in Britain. 😌🇬🇧❤️ You’ve painted a lovely picture to savor, and wishing you a wonderful weekend ritual of reading. Thank you for stopping by.

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