This & That: May 6, 2022
Friday May 6, 2022

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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.


Ali’s Well That Ends Well: Tales of Desperation and a Little Inspiration by Ali Wentworth

If you are looking for a light-hearted, laughter-inducing memoir, pick up actor and comedian Ali Wentworth’s which will be released on May 10th. “Wentworth turns her gimlet eye to the year no one saw coming. With her signature irreverent style, she shares the most hysterical, absurd, and sometimes trying episodes that her family endured during the terrible global pandemic.” 

The Art & Science of Food Pairing: 10,000 Flavour matches that will transform the way you eat by Peter Coucquyt, Bernard Lahousse, Johan Langenbick

Without question, The Art & Science of Food Pairing is for a particular reader, foodie or cook. Released in 2010, it is an invaluable resource full of science, charts and ideas for delicious flavors created in your kitchen. “The Art and Science of Foodpairing® provides 10,000 flavor matches laid out in taste wheels and color keys. When cooks go to one ingredient, they will find 10 food pairings and a color wheel revealing the taste results. For example, boiled beets will taste less like the earth they grew in and more like cheese if they are paired with coffee, and cauliflower sprinkled with cocoa could turn the fussiest child into a veggie fiend.” Have a look at an example page from the book below.

Last Call at the Hotel Imperial: The Reporters Who Took on a World at War by Deborah Cohen

Released in March and a New York Times’s Editors’ Choice, Deborah Cohen’s new book tells the true “story of John Gunther, H. R. Knickerbocker, Vincent Sheean, and Dorothy Thompson. In those tumultuous years [1920s], they landed exclusive interviews with Hitler and Mussolini, Nehru and Gandhi, and helped shape what Americans knew about the world. Alongside these backstage glimpses into the halls of power, they left another equally incredible set of records. Living in the heady afterglow of Freud, they subjected themselves to frank, critical scrutiny and argued about love, war, sex, death, and everything in between.” A fascinating read about a time in history often in focus, but now shared through a unique lens.

The New Design Rules: How to Decorate and Renovate, from start to finish by Emily Henderson

Being released this coming week on the 10th “interior designer Emily Henderson wants you to take risks with your home design without experiencing regret. In this visually driven decorating bible punctuated with photographs from real homes and colorful illustrations, she takes you through her entire process, including every single decision she makes when it comes to picking paint, arranging furniture, hanging window treatments, and deciding on lighting fixtures. You’ll also learn when to hire a contractor versus an architect versus a handyperson, all the materials to consider (and why you might want to skip those marble countertops), proper measurements of the elements in each room, and so much more. By the end of the book, you’ll feel more confident when it comes to visualizing the home of your dreams, and you’ll finally know how to make it happen.” Have a look at the contents below.

Out of the Corner: A Memoir by Jennifer Grey

“Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” We all know the now iconic line uttered without hesitation from Patrick Swayze to Jennifer Grey’s character’s family in Dirty Dancing, and now ‘Baby’ has written a memoir that is receiving high praise. Released this past Tuesday, Grey writes “with self-deprecating humor and frankness, she looks back on her unbridled, romantic adventures in Hollywood. And with enormous bravery, she shares the devastating fallout from a plastic surgery procedure that caused the sudden and stunning loss of her professional identity and career. Grey inspires with her hard-won battle back, reclaiming her sense of self from a culture and business that can impose a narrow and unforgiving definition of female worth. She finds, at last, her own true north and starts a family of her own, just in the nick of time.”

British Finds

Death in Paradise, Season 11

With new episodes being dropped each Tuesday (two each week), return to Saint Marie and the entire police team to solve mysteries and bustle about in the sun and sea.

The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray

A must-read for Anglophiles who know their Jane Austen and every character she ever created, but also appreciate a good Agatha Christie caper. Released this week, Claudia Gray’s new mystery novel tells the tale of “a summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen’s Mr. Wickham—one of literature’s most notorious villains—meets a sudden and suspicious end in this mystery featuring Austen’s leading literary characters.”

Signora Volpe, AcornTV

Oh wow. This . … is a GREAT new original series. Starring Emilia Fox, a once M16 agent becomes disillusioned with her career as a spy now sitting behind a desk in London. During a trip to Umbria, Italy, she stumbles into a debacle of characters only she knows how to handle to ensure her niece’s safety. Enjoy the beauty of Italy, the gorgeous effortless sartorial style and strong character in Signora Volpe (translation for fox in Italian). I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode and there are three in the series, one being released each Monday. Have a look at the trailer below and enjoy. Saluti!

Francophile Find

How to French Country: color and design inspiration from southwest France by Sara Silm

Released earlier this year in some markets and officially being released in the states on May 10th, interior designer and journalist Sara Silm shares her expertise and her beautifully renovated Chateau Montfort in the French countryside in How to French Country. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy. Slip away to southwest France and learn how to welcome the French countryside into your home wherever you call home. Coupling detailed, practical design knowledge with evocative notes on rural French life and choice recipes, Sara Silm shares her “detailed knowledge of French country style “drawing philosophical lines between color, temporality, style, sensation, and season, such that every design choice is a contemplation of time and place.” Have a look at a few pages below found in the book.


The Monet Cookbook: Recipes from Giverny by Florence Gentner

I came across this cookbook while visiting Musée de L’Orangerie last month, and while I wanted to bring it home, I wanted to conserve space in my luggage, so decided to wait and order it when I returned home to the states. You can order now too, and today save 49% off the cover price. Discover 60 recipes paired alongside “beautiful reproductions of Monet’s art along with photographs of the artist enjoying these dishes with his family, friends, and fellow artists. The recipes themselves, selected for their rustic appeal and use of only the freshest ingredients, range from simple galettes and hearty casseroles to fine soufflés, seafood dishes, and delicious tarts, cakes, and other pastries.” 


Boden’s Tiered Ruffle Maxi Dress (black, more colors available)

Attending the first farmers market of the season this week, the weather felt more like summer than spring, and this dress would have been perfect. A new item at Boden, breezy, classic and comfortable.

L.K. Bennett Almeida Cream and Blue Stripe Trousers

Screen Shot 2022-05-05 at 11.27.49 AM

These trousers caught my eye immediately for comfort but also chic Provençal summer style.

Mansur Gavriel Swing Shoulder Bag, mini (many colors)

An investment, yes, but a lifetime, classic piece to be enjoyed for years. The mini is not that small which is why I wanted to share, and the multiple colors are beautiful, each one, which makes it hard to choose the best for a capsule wardrobe fit. Enjoy trying! 🙂

Me + Em Textured Twill Frayed Edge Blazer

Blazers and jackets similar to this one were my go-to on my recent trip to Paris and England. With a little light layer underneath, this was all I needed and I felt comfortable, chic and appropriately dressed for nearly everything we visited.


Hacks, Season 2 Premiere, HBO Max

She’s back! Or should I say, they’re back! Emmy Award winning actress Jean Smart returns in the role on the comedy series Hacks that had me busting up more often than I expected. I quickly whizzed through the first season back in the fall, and look forward to tuning in each Thursday beginning on May 12th for the second season (eight episodes). Have a look at the trailer below.

When we’ve been moving through our days at a swift pace for far too long, slowing down, seems almost ‘unnatural’ or something we cannot do or that we should not do, but in fact, the opposite is true. I am finding myself slowing down to a lovely leisurely pace as I move through my days and weeks, but there are times when my mind thinks I should be going much faster, doing far more and exhausting myself to the point of fatigue. Such a fast pace had been more ‘normal’ for many years, and the last year, necessarily so to finish projects I had planned to be able to do exactly what my mind thinks is abnormal – live a slower life.

Thankfully, when my old habits surface, I have enough wherewithal to breathe and talk to myself enough to settle and become clear-eyed about the reality of what a fast pace does to my stress levels, my connections with others and most importantly with myself. Upon returning from my trip two weeks ago, it is becoming easier and easier to go about my everydays at the pace of a steady stroll than a languid gallop, and my mind thanks me (my budget too as no more large projects are looming and need to be finished).


I have enjoyed a couple of evenings this past week sitting on my garden porch when the weather has warmed up, listening to the birdsong, and reading a book that has me enthralled. As well, visiting the first farmers’ market of the season was a treat, and pottering about in the garden to plant more California butter-hued poppy seeds as well as the sunflower crop has softened my days. In between and amongst it all are moments with Norman, and I smile feeling grateful for such a place and such a companion to share my days.

I hope the start of the month of May is treating you well, and if you are a TOP Tier Member be sure to check out this month’s A Cuppa Moments, a fuller and more video-packed conversation we have not had yet in the near two years of our regular monthly chats. Tune in for more than an hour of video tours of places I visited in Paris and the English countryside, as well, two walks with Norman, books, articles and still much more. (Explore becoming a TOP Tier Member here.) Also, earlier this week, a detailed post on my Paris Perfect apartment, and episode #328 of the podcast was all about how to savor Paris, complete with a Petit Plaisir sharing the recipe for one of my favorite Parisian-café drinks that you can make at home in fewer than 7 minutes.

Now to more than a few articles I thought you might enjoy. Thank you for stopping by today, and if you are in the states and a mum/mom/mother/mere, wishing you a wonderful Mother’s Day. Until Monday, bonne journée.

~Traveling and exploring, wanting to return home with treasures, but how to do it well? Read this article from House & Garden and experts in interior designs.

~I know a few TSLL readers who have lost beloved pets and loved ones recently, and I know many of you are introverts. An article you might want to explore – 7 Ways to Cope with Grief as an Introvert [Introvert, Dear]

~Top 10 Stressors in Life and most importantly, How to Cope with Them Constructively [Life Hack]

~And good news! It does turn out to be a health and quality of life benefit to be a grounded optimist. [Psychology Today]

~I am currently looking for a particular pair of eye glasses, and well, the French company Maison Bonnet is a classic – Behind the Making of the World’s Most Recognisable Eyewear [Financial Times]

~A new study reveals that it is a balance of smart phone use that improves the quality of our lives, rather than one extreme (total non-use) or other (constant use). [Science Daily]

~I savored the final episode of season 1 of Julia and was happy to hear that the series has been renewed for Season 2! [TV Line]

~I appreciated this post earlier this week as I settle into a new rhythm and will be saving for future reference, from Marc & Angel10 Things to Start Telling Yourself on Hard Days.

~A short reminder about the need to slow down [Seth Godin]

~10 Places to Visit in France in the Winter (and what to expect) [Le Long Weekend]

~Letting go of a pointed search for your purpose and what to do instead (a slight shift in terminology) [Tiny Buddha]

~A helpful, enumerated list from interior decorator Susan Deliss who shares the dos and don’ts of decorating [House & Garden UK]

~Inspired from a conversation in this month’s A Cuppa Moments, the health benefits for the brain from gardening, author Sue Stuart-Smith shares her science findings [Gardeners’ World podcast]

~Speaking of gardening, it is a new month and Monty Don shares his monthly list of gardening jobs.

~Visiting Paris soon? Check out HipParis’ new Market Tour & Cooking Class offerings.

~Downton Abbey: A New Era is already in theaters in the UK (beginning last Friday), and will premiere in the US on May 20th. Did you know you too can rent the now iconic French villa seen in the film? Yep! [House & Garden UK]

~More than a few TSLL readers brought this upcoming film to my attention last week when the trailer was released, and it does look like a wonderful bit of fun. Look for it in theaters on July 15th.

~Catch up on last week’s This & That: April 29, 2022

Oh my goodness, do we have a full T & T this week! So much great television – the premiere of the British version of a French favorite comedy that is loved internationally, the final season begins of the longest running original Netflix series, a new documentary about an independent bookstore, and Stanley Tucci returns! Also, a great pair of classic summer wedges, going behind the doors of Windsor Castle in a much-anticipated new book, the six people behind Julia Child’s success (along with her own dogged belief and determination bien sûr), a new PBS Masterpiece mini-series set in London based on a popular novel, and much, much more along with many links to explore for weekend reading. 

~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.

25 thoughts on “This & That: May 6, 2022

  1. Love Signora Volpe! The characters, actors and, of course, the location and scenery are wonderfully appealing. I can hardly wait until the next episode is out. You’ve introduced me to so many good shows and series. Thank-you, Shannon.

    1. Robbie, isn’t just splendid! They have a hit on their hands. Felicia Fox’s character is written so well with attention to her strength, patience, grace and stealthiness. Looking forward to a Monday as well! Thank you for stopping by and sharing how much you enjoy the show. ☺️

  2. What a packed This & That! So many French finds too, my favourites as a true Francophile!
    I’m enjoying all of the inspiration and content you have brought back from your trip. And your thoughts on a slower pace – I whole heartedly agree, what are we rushing towards anyway? I find it’s much harder to be present when you hurry through days and you lose the quality too.
    Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend

    1. Very well said. An excellent question to ponder.

      When I catch myself “accelerating”, I stop and ask: are you in a hurry to go somewhere? No? Good. Then let’s enjoy it, shall we?…

      True to be told I sometimes also ask this question to family or friends, when they also are trying to achieve “high speeds”. Sometimes I am met with an eye-rolling, in which case I suggest them to go and listen to the song “Life is Groovy” by Simon and Garfunkel. 😉

      Greetings from Germany, have a great weekend! 🙂

  3. A great T&T! 🙂

    My favourites:
    – The Art and Science of Food Pairing – adding this one to my list, of course;
    – The Murder of Mr. Wickham;
    – The Monet Cookbook – with Monet being my favourite painter ever, I am curious about this book:
    – Ruffle Maxi Dress – I find this dress very nice because it is difficult to find something black, for summer, that does not too heavy.
    – How to shop when you go on holiday – I certainly can benefit of some sensible advice in this area… 😉
    – Decor Do’s and Dont’s.

    Enjoy your weekend, Shannon and Norman!

    1. Hello Isabel! Thank yo7 for sharing all that spoke to you. ? Good point about black summer dresses and I do think you will enjoy Monet’s cookbook having had the chance to look through it while in Paris.

      Thank you for the well weekend wishes for us both ? To you and your family as well.

    1. Ahh! You are correct Christina! I should have caught that. Autocorrect took over amd I didn’t catch it. I have updated the post. Thank you for letting me know. Sara’s book looks amazing. ☺️

  4. Shannon~

    Great list this week! What am I saying? It is always great.

    I immediately added The Murder of Mr. Wickham, along with How To French Country to my Amazon book wish list. That list keeps growing and growing. I have no idea where I will find the time to read them all. I was saddened by the end of Julia, but now have Signora Volpe and Hacks to look forward to. Julia was an excellent series and I am happy to hear it will be returning.

    Love the Boden dress!

    When I saw the trailer for Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris, I immediately thought of you! I cannot wait for it to come out. I love Leslie Manville and was so happy to see her in the lead role. I vaguely remember viewing a television movie with Angela Lansbury many years ago. I have not read the book, but noticed that the author has a whole series based on the character.

    Although I have a busy weekend ahead, your words have reminded me to take in each moment that I will be sharing with family and friends that I have not seen in awhile.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


    1. Have an awesome weekend Michelle, and thank you for sharing what grabbed your eye. I am confident you will find a pace that moves you at an enjoyable rhythm to hold you in the present moment. ?

  5. I watched Signora Volpe last night after your recommendation. I can’t wait for the next episode! It’s like watching a calming piece of art, in action, that just happens to have a crime story sprinkled in! Ah, the scenery, fashion, storyline, even the soundtrack had me mesmerized. Once again, This & That has made my world more luxurious ? Thank you Shannon, have a wonderful weekend!

  6. What a lovely collection of early summer treats – thanks for curating all this Shannon. Looking forward especially to Signora Volpe (though I believe the star’s first name is Emilia , not Felicia … I was just reading an interview with her in a UK magazine). She was also in the series Delicious with Dawn French – another goodie. And thank you so much for sharing your lovely European journey with us. I don’t do Instagram but enjoyed what you shared on the blog. Happy May to you and Norman!

    1. Catherine,

      Thank you for bringing her correct name to my attention. I appreciate it and have updated the post. ? Thank you for stopping by this week and wishing you a lovely weekend. ?

  7. Hi Shannon!

    I’m almost 100% positive that I was the one who left the Minnesota review of the podcast that you enjoyed! I stand by all of my comments – this show is a great influence on me!

    Thanks for everything,

    Victoria Gregus

  8. Take off the question mark at the end…it was supposed to be an exclamation point, but I don’t have my contacts in yet this morning. LOL

  9. Thank you Shannon for a fab list of This and That. May is indeed treating me well in more ways than one. Mr Macron had his investiture on Saturday in glorious weather for his second term. Heard the first cuckoo in our woods yesterday. Had a birthday celebration and am off to England very soon. So excited to be seeing my children and to be there for the Queen’s Jubilee. Cannot wait .Such a great list of TV shows , books and fashion.
    I wanted to like Death in Paradise because of the cast and location but it has not grabbed me . Maybe I should have another go at it. SignoraVolpe sounds wonderful but not sure I can access it. It seems that we cannot get enough of French country style. I am slightly bemused . As foreigners who love French style we try to incorporate elements of French country style into our own dècor but my French friends who are renovating houses in the countryside are ripping out everything and replacing with modern décor.
    The Boden dress is a lovely summer addition. I have had a quick look at the summer collection and a couple of things caught my eye. I still have a couple of pieces of clothing from when they first started . Thank you for the Boden reminder.
    Wishing you and cute Norman a lovely weekend. Kameela xx

  10. Shannon. Always. Such. Good. Stuff.
    Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is an absolute must-see, how wonderfully filmed and acted, and such a soaring and uplifting affirmation of hope and optimism.
    And yes, wow. Signora Volpe just pushed me over the edge to finally sign up for AcornTV.
    You are spot on with your assessment that we mindlessly and habitually move at a rapid pace that is actually in direct conflict with our natural rhythms and that creates such a dissonance. I thought I was now retired, and now moving beyond that dissonance. Then, my old friend, and boss–friend first, but worked together for almost thirty years–decided he isn’t quite ready to give up the biz. It is very much truncated and limited in scope, but….last week, he asked me to help with the VERY few orders/processing etc. Of course I said yes. But. I was just beginning to realize the joy of my new routine. Bouf. So now I suppose I am ‘semi-retired’….I have to say, I am outside for the greater part of the day, only retreating for hunger, and, now, the afternoon heat.
    Thank you, Shannon, for providing this space(have I said that enough?), so much that is wonderful and welcomed. Mille merçi. À bientôt. And ear-rubs to Norman of course!XOXO

    1. And “The Art & Science of Food Pairing” looks really interesting, reminds me a bit of Samin Nosrat’s approach in her cookbook and fantastic Netflix series, “Salt. Fat. Acid. Heat.”

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