This & That: May 13, 2022
Friday May 13, 2022

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Beautiful new totes for summer and travel, a French film I cannot wait to see, two must-have travel items for ease, luxury and comfort, clothing that is versatile, comfortable and chic, new book releases receiving positive reviews, a new partnership with TSLL that includes an exclusive discount on quality items for your home and kitchen and still much more.


Anna: The Biography by Amy Odell

After reading a fairly positive and complimentary review of Amy Odell’s biography of Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour in the Financial Times, I was encouraged to pick up a copy out of mere curiosity. While Wintour’s life story is far from finished, her journey thus far is intriguing. Released this past week, if you too have been bemused or curious as to how she has held on to her leadership role at Vogue for so long as well as her clout in the fashion industry, this is a book to read.

Conversations on Love: Lovers, Strangers, Parents, Friends, Endings, Beginnings by Natasha Lunn

Released in April, “journalist Natasha Lunn was almost 30 when she realized that there was no map for understanding love. While she was used to watching friends fall in and out of love, the older she got the more she had to acknowledge: her friends’ relationship struggles could no longer be chalked up to youth, and the more she learned about her parents, grandparents, work colleagues, and mentors the clearer it became that age had not brought any of them any closer to understanding this elusive, transformative, consuming emotion . . .

. . . Interweaving personal essays and revealing interviews with some of the most sough-after experts on love, journalist Natasha Lunn guides us through the paradoxical heart of three key questions about love–How do we find love? How do we sustain it? And how do we survive when we lose it?–to deliver a book that is a solace, a beacon, a call to arms, a tool-kit.”

The Good Left Undone: A Novel by Adriana Trigiana

From beloved and bestselling author Ariana Trigiana, her new novel is now available. The Good Left Undone is set in Italy, but travels to Marseille and back and forth between current times and WWII. “Matelda, the Cabrelli family’s matriarch, has always been brusque and opinionated. Now, as she faces the end of her life, she is determined to share a long-held secret with her family about her own mother’s great love story: with her childhood friend, Silvio, and with dashing Scottish sea captain John Lawrie McVicars, the father Matelda never knew. . . . “

Managing Expectations: A Memoir in Essays by Minnie Driver

Released this past week, actor Minnie Driver’s memoir is receiving applause from a variety of magazines. “Driver writes with disarming charm and candor about her bohemian upbringing between England and Barbados; her post-university travails and triumphs—from being the only student in her acting school not taken on by an agent to being discovered at a rave in a muddy field in the English countryside; shooting to fame in one of the most influential films of the 1990s and being nominated for an Academy Award; and finding the true light of her life, her son . . . Driver writes with razor-sharp humor and grace as she explores navigating the depths of failure, fighting for success, discovering the unmatched wonder and challenge of motherhood, and wading through immeasurable grief.”

British Finds

I am saving ALL of the British Finds I have for next week’s This & That. SO. MANY. British Week begins this Sunday right here on the blog (May 15th) and runs through Sunday May 22nd.

Enjoy two posts each day and explore becoming a TOP Tier Member as there will be five giveaways and one of the perks of becoming a TOP Tier Members as only they can enter for a chance to win! Click here to explore the Membership options.

Francophile Finds

The Bordeaux Kitchen: An Immersion into French Food and Wine, Inspired by Ancestral Traditions by Tania Teschke

While published in 2018, currently my neighbors are traveling in France and their trip has taken them to Bordeaux. Oh! I cannot wait to hear their stories, and so when this cookbook crossed my path again, I wanted to share. “More than a cookbook, this is a comprehensive cultural and culinary journey into the world of traditional French cuisine and French wine (adapted for paleo enthusiasts), and tips for ancestral living. Award-winning author Tania Teschke, food and wine gourmet, photographer, and lifelong student of French culture, brings you over 160 sumptuous and easy-to-follow recipes for seasonal and traditional French dishes that deliver not only the nutrition, but also the satisfaction we have been missing in our modern diet.” 

Flavour with Benefits: France by Cathy Connally and Charley Beset

A cookbook as well as a France travel resource!  Experience breathtaking France with over 100 original photographs as well as 50+ inspired recipes accompanied by stunning photographs in Cathy Connally and Charley Best’s Flavour with Benefits, released last year.

Haute Couture

Recently released in France, and not yet available in the states, I wanted to bring your attention to a film I have a feeling you will want to watch whenever it premieres in theaters stateside. “Esther is at the end of her career as Head Seamstress at Dior Avenue Montaigne workshop. One day, she gets her handbag stolen in the metro by a 20 year old woman, Jade. Instead of calling the police she decides to take care of Jade. She sees in her the opportunity to pass on her skills, the craft of dressmaking, her only wealth. In the frenetic world of Haute Couture, Esther will give Jade la beauté du geste, a way to reach beyond herself.” Have a look at the trailer below.

My Stylish French Box – May’s Box – Blue & White

There is still time to order your My Stylish French Box that is being shipped this week! The theme is Blue & White, and if is anything like their previous Blue & White box, it will be a true delight. Buy for yourself, buy for a friend, subscribe and ensure you receive each box each season (delivered four times a year). With my recent trip to Paris, I was reminded how special Sharon Santoni’s boxes are as she includes items and brands you often cannot buy online and only will find if you visit in-person (and know where to look!). Let her team at My French Country Home spoil you. You will keep the items she selects for years to come (I am LOVING my Apilco teacup and saucer received in last season’s delivery, seen in the pic just below withe tray and Norman).

Use promo code simplyluxurious as well when you place your order!


Bembien Valeria Tote (shop here as well)

I have to extend a big thank you to TSLL reader Liz for bringing this brand to my attention. The Valeria Tote caught my eye (available in three different colors/trims), and be sure to check out the Margot Tote as well for a more rectangular tote, similar design. Perfect for the summer market exploration or toodling around while you travel and explore summer destinations. Thank you Liz!

—Cassandra’s Kitchen, Handwoven Rectangular Serving Tray w/Glass Bottom

I am excited to share that TSLL is now partnering with Cassandra’s Kitchen. I have been a fan of their online shop for years. I was first introduced to Cassandra and her quality selections through Barefoot Contessa who sources many of her items from Cassandra’s Kitchen. From platters, silver, glasses, storage containers for soups and sauces, as well as beautiful décor and serving items as seen here with the handwoven rectangular serving tray with glass bottom.

There are two sizes available for this tray, and what you see here is the small (13.25″ in length). The medium/large is 17″ in length. I think this tray is perfect for my daily use as I prepare to begin my day, steep a teapot of black Twinings tea, add cup & saucer and then head to the office with Norman to type away.

Everything at Cassandra’s Kitchen is included in the 10% promo code use. Simply use simplyluxurious to save. And be sure to peruse the entire shop. You can shop the tray directly here. I also love these plastic food containers – sturdy plastic and perfect for broths, soups and extra batter for my favorite Morning Glory muffins. I now have them in three different sizes, and know I will use them repeatedly.

—INVESTMENT ITEM: Me + Em Large Canvas Tote Bag, light tan

Becoming available in the next few days at British design house Me + Em, this thoughtfully crafted canvas tote with leather handles pays attention to all of the details – inside and out. One that you will have for years and that will pair well with so many summer outfits at home or while traveling.

Reiss Mabel High Waist Trousers (petite sizes also available)

Screen Shot 2022-05-12 at 10.59.15 AM

Pair with nearly everything in your spring, summer and early fall wardrobe. These flattering high-waisted pants are comfortable, light-weight and in a neutral hue to work with flats, heels, and many different styles of layers.


Longchamp Le Foulonné Small Cosmetic Case

Inspired by the Style post shared last month with a round-up of my 6 outfits worn during my recent trip to Paris and England, I am following up a little bit each week, sharing what I have found to fill the gaps. And this item is exactly what I was looking for for my makeup items. I don’t have many, but I like to keep them separate from my skincare and other toiletries. I also need them to be with me on the long flight, so a small zipper bag is key. This Longchamp cosmetic case is a great size – 6 3/4″ in length and 4+” in height.

Slip Sleep Mask, pure silk (many colors)

One more travel item to share this week. While I already have my silk sleep mask, I always have it with me when I need to catch some Zzzs on the plane, and yep, silk feels so good on the skin. Slip Sleep Masks offer great quality at a reasonable price, and you can find a mask in a color that works for you. | The Simply Luxurious Life

The rain falls steadily here in Bend as I type, Norman sleeps and snores nearby and I am grateful to just be able to be still.

This past week has found me preparing for TSLL’s 4th Annual British Week which will keep me busy, as I cannot wait to share so many recommended places to see, stay at and explore as well as giveaways and just to revel in all things British with fellow Anglophiles such as many TSLL readers are. 🙂

This weekend I may take in the film The Duke which is showing in the area at a boutique theater and will also tinker out in the garden and mowing the lawn that after two weeks and quite a bit of rain is quite tall again. More dahlia tubers arrived this week, and even if only a handful of them do as well as I hope, Le Papillon’s late summer garden will hopefully be awash in Dahlia magic. While potting those up, my smile kept growing just seeing the potential and playing in the dirt all the while. 🙂

I have continued to enjoy Signora Volpe on AcornTV (as shared in last week’s T & T post), and with the new release of Season 4 of Tandem (a French series), between France and Britain (and a bit of Italy), my entertainment when I turn on the television is set. As well, with books to read and explore, a pup to snuggle with and bird cafés to keep full, I am quite loving this everyday life back at Le Papillon.

Again, I want to thank everyone thus far who has taken the time to leave a positive review regarding TSLL’s new book – The Road to Le Papillon: Daily Meditations on Contentment. I have been adding a few more to TSLL’s home page of the 3rd Books Reviews (see them here), and will continue to do so. Thank you so much for taking the time to share what you are enjoying about the book. It truly does help new potential readers understand what they will find, and your kindness means more than you’ll know.

On days such as today that keep me inside, my mind loves to ponder the décor that brings me calm and rejuvenation, so I am especially excited to be able to be moving a small project forward with my dear friend Veronique. I am adding window treatments – full length curtains – in my living and dining area, and with her expertise, this necessary cozy detail will finish each space. When all is finished, be sure, I will be sharing a tour, complete with before and after pics with TOP Tier Members in an upcoming A Cuppa Moments (likely in July or August).

And now to a list of posts and one video I think you might enjoy this weekend. I do hope your first full week in May went well, and you are looking ahead to time to do as you need and please. Until Sunday when British Week begins, bonne journée!

~How to start a vegetable garden in any type of backyard [WSJ]

~The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated soon, and while she, for the first time, did not open Parliament in person since 1964 (Prince Edward’s had just been born), much celebration is scheduled and worth exploring during June 2nd-5th officially, but extending all summer long in many places. If you will be in London, here are a few places and ideas that will be hosting special occasions/events/offerings. [Forbes]

~Do you have travel plans to travel to Aix-en-Provence? If you do (or will in the future) and are looking for a place of luxury, save this hotel as a place to stay – Villa Saint-Ange [Forbes]

~You’ve just finished a great book, and while you thoroughly enjoyed it, ahh, those ‘post-book blues’! The BBC Culture desk shares some ideas for getting over these temporary post-book blue moments.

~Take a tour of an idyllic thatched cottage, home to a Danish artist [My Scandinavian Home]

~5 Mental habits of people who thrive under pressure [Pick the Brain]

~A few notes to bring attention to for anyone traveling to France this summer [Forbes]

~Have you ever wanted to own a house in a small, quaint Normandy town? Well, Susan Herrmann Loomis’ historic home, complete with a custom chef’s kitchen (loved cooking in it during my time taking her class in 2019!), is now officially for sale.

~This list has been shared frequently these past few weeks, and I thought I would share all 103 Bits of Advice He Wish He Had Known from Kevin Kelly who turned 70, and is the founding Executive Editor of WIRED magazine and the Editor of Whole Earth Review.

~How to make an herbaceous border look amazing [Middle-Sized Garden]

~How to make your interiors look cohesive when you have a hodgepodge of things [House & Garden UK]

~Spending time alone doesn’t mean being lonely, as we’ve talked about many times here on TSLL blog! How to be happy by yourself [Tiny Buddha]

~Looking for a laugh while you, like me (if you are in the states) are waiting for Season 3 of Derry Girls to arrive? Here is a bit of Comic Relief from the Cast as they ‘prepare’ for Saoirse Ronan. Enjoy!

~Check out last week’s This & That: May 6, 2022

A wonderful, adventurous and sartorially chic new AcornTV series, a new mystery novel that revives a notorious Jane Austen character and sees him murdered, timeless handbags, summer style items for travel or for going out and about around your local favorite haunts, Jean Smart returns, find oodles of inspiration for decorating your sanctuary, specifically inspiration to incorporate a touch of thoughtful French country and yep, there is still, much, much more. 

~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.

16 thoughts on “This & That: May 13, 2022

  1. Such a lovely round up of things to thrill us with Shannon! I am especially delighted that you reviewed an eye mask as I have recently been searching for one ? The Stylish French box – a perfect reflection of a simply luxurious life. I’m so excited for British Week! And looking forward to following along on the journey of the window treatments. Have a wonderful start to the weekend.

  2. Hello, Shannon, and thanks for a very nice T&T! 🙂

    My favourites of the week:
    -Haute Couture;
    – Valeria Tote – beautiful and I wish I could find something similar locally;
    – Tray with Glass Bottom – ditto ditto;
    – Mabel High Waist Trousers;
    – Post-Book Blues – sometimes it happens to me… until I start the next book.
    – 103 Bits of Advice… – this was so much fun to read, and there are many “bits” that I can relate to. My favourite today, apt, I think, for our zeitgeist is this: *You will be judged on how well you treat those who can do nothing for you.*
    – How to make interiors look cohesive – interesting to read, not because I have lots of stuff, which I don’t (I suppose I don’t…), but because my pieces are from very different epochs/ designs/ looks, and to achieve cohesiveness is not an easy task indeed;
    – Derry Girls Comic Relief – nice to see their young faces again!

    As every year, I am looking forward to the British Week. 🙂

    Have a lovely weekend, Shannon, Norman, and everyone!

  3. thank you, Shannon, for sharing with us the marvelous show Signora Volpe. Your blog is my best source of what to watch now:) Will look into all you suggest this week, as I always do. Wonderful that you enjoyed such a beautiful time in Paris! Happy spring and thank you!

    1. Gene,

      Thank you for stopping by! And so tickled to hear you too are enjoying Signora Volpe. ☺️ So excited to share when I find such shows. Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for your interest and time shared when stopping by TSLL ?

  4. Hi Shannon, could you check the code for the My Stylish French Box? I’ve tried it in the coupon code (no promo code area) and it says it doesn’t exist. Just thought I’d give it a try! Best, Meg

  5. Shannon, another delightful digest to enjoy over the weekend. I’m now thinking about a tote as I’m off to Wimbledon next month and want a bag to carry my picnic. I try to avoid leather as I’m vegetarian but love the stylish look of the pieces you have curated. I’m also browsing the article about herbaceous borders for some inspiration. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. A fabulous list Shannon. I think we can look forward to.lits of kitchen treasures from now on?. I love “103 and three things I wish I.gad known”. It would serve as a pocket companion. I love the last two. I agree that keeping our astonishment stops us from ageing cerebrally. So excited to be in England for British week and the Queen’s Jubilee. Wasn’t a deliberate plan to be there but oh so exciting. Your friends will love Bordeaux. Pearl of Aquitaine. Not only is it the wine epicentre but has the most listed monuments after Paris. It’s also on the UNESCO’s world heritage list. The gastronomy is out of this world. I suggest a visit next time you’re in France. Have a fabulous weekend in the garden with the dahlia bulbs. Kameela xx

  7. Dear Shannon,
    With all the discord and pain the world has experienced in the last few years on a global scale, I find myself needing to extract myself sometimes, and turn to focusing on the beauty and love we can experience in life. Your blog is one of the most significant sources to be found of all things wonderful, adventurous and nurturing to the human spirit.
    Thank you for doing what you do. I know I can’t be the only one that finds great solace in your reflections, and recommendations.
    Best wishes, Vickie

    1. Vickie, you are definitely not alone in appreciating this lovely little corner of grace and respite that Shannon has created here. TSLL is indeed a source, as you say, “…of all things wonderful, adventurous and nurturing to the human spirit.”
      I hope your weekend offers some lovely moments of repose and discovery. XO Rona

    2. Vickie,

      My apologies for the delayed response. However, please know when I read it this past weekend, I was deeply moved and grateful for your kind words. Thank you very much. I will continue to do my best bring what you and so many TSLL readers enjoy and why they share their time by stopping by so frequently. For this I am grateful beyond what my words an accurately convey. Wishing you all the best. 🙂 xoxo

  8. Wonderful list as usual Shannon. “Flavour With Benefits” looks like such fun and “The Bordeaux Kitchen” I think I must have as well. I just now glanced over my shoulder to check my dedicated cookbook bookcase and yes! there is room. 🙂
    Love the glass and wicker tray and “103 Bits of Advice” made me ponder a bit, nod in agreement, and laugh out loud.
    And I’m so looking forward to British Week! Have a lovely gardening weekend planting your dahlias. XO Rona

    1. Oh my gosh, I just read the interior design article from House and Garden. I now know my decorating ‘aesthetic’–Hodge-Podgery! It comes, I suppose, from living in a welter of different places and times. And I LIKE my different odds and ends…I am a true Hodge-Podgist.?

  9. Ahhhh. That was me on opening the website for the first time in what seems like weeks (well, a couple of them anyway) & finding my favourite weekly offering awaiting me. Five weeks ago today my husband & I & our contractor sat down & had a hard conversation: supply-line delays, a lack of skilled tradesmen (& women), permit problems (because we’re building our retirement dream home on waterfront, there are myriad environmental permits & conditions to be met) & a multitude of other issues mean we are months behind schedule on the house we’re building. And living a 4 hour drive (in good weather & traffic) on mountain roads from the site when we’re acting as our own project managers just became untenable.

    So, we sold the home we were living in (the market here is insane — it sold in 6 days with 23 offers, all at or above asking, & we closed in 23 days), threw everything we owned into packing boxes & moved & are now living in a rental 20 minutes from the place we’re building. It was the most disorganized move I’ve ever made & as we did none of the usual pre-move decluttering because we simply didn’t have time, we’re up to our ears in boxes stuffed full of things with no rhyme or reason or system to them (or their contents) & can’t find a thing. On top of that, we haven’t had time to make anything but the slightest dent in it all.

    And this is where YOU come in, Shannon. Besides offering a voice of calm sanity when I need it most, your archive of great advice on simplfying, beautifying & “luxurifying” one’s home & life is becoming my favourite resource. We’re unpacking each box intentionally & asking ourselves of every single thing we unearth: do we love it, need it, use it & does it fit how we want our new home to look & feel (not this temporary rental, but “the” house). Some interesting discussions have come up, insights have been explored & epiphanies have been had! And I am finding your articles so helpful. They keep me focused & remind me I don’t have to do it all in a single afternoon 🙂 .

    And the best thing: coming up for air finally & knowing I have about 3 weeks’ worth of TSLL to catch up on!

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