Monday miscellany: welcoming la rentrée, & more

Long before I’d ever heard the French expression la rentrée, I’ve always thought of September as a time of fresh starts. It’s probably a holdover from school days, but I still embrace it. (In France, à la rentrée means not only “back to school,” but a return to routines and work after the traditional August vacation month.)

This time of year, I often experience a sense of renewed energy and focus. I’ve felt restless lately, and spent a good deal of last week tidying, organizing, and freshening up around the house. Clearing out the cobwebs both literally and figuratively.

This week's flowers from Trader Joe's: dahlias and mums

I’ve been making a point to buy some fresh flowers on my weekly Trader Joe’s run, and they really give me a lift!

A little Provence for my kitchen

The cooler weather over the weekend has put me in the mood to do a little cooking again. So was really delighted with the August box from My French Country Home (c/o). The kitchen-themed boxes are always my favorite, and I love every single thing in this one!

Contents from My French Country Home Box: yellow check apron, flower print greeting card, olive wood scoop, copper ladle, butter dish, cheese serving set, Herbes de Provence, olive oil soap

My French Country Home Box is a subscription gift box, featuring items selected by Sharon Santoni. Sharon seeks out uniquely French artisans and brands for her selections, and it’s always such a treat to open the box and discover the surprises inside.

Cheese serving set, copper ladle, yellow check apron, Herbes de Provence, and miniature salt-pepper set from My French Country Home Box.

As I mentioned, I was absolutely thrilled with everything in this collection!

  • gorgeous copper ladle from Atelier du Cuivre
  • fun gingham apron by Linvosges (I love aprons and use them daily)
  • cheese knife set from Jean Dubost
  • an olive wood scoop from Berard
  • bee-embossed glass butter dish from La Rochère
  • antique escargot pots with horn spoons (to use as salt & pepper servers)
  • olive-scented soap in a pretty soap dish (this one went right into use)
  • Herbes de Provence (my favorite and most often-used seasoning!)
  • a beautiful photo print by Jamie Beck
Olive soap from My French Country Home box

Sharon is now taking orders for the November box. With the theme of Soirée Elegant, it promises to be a lovely treat just in time for the holidays. These boxes almost always sell out, so be sure to reserve yours today. And they make fabulous gifts, too…

Fall outfit idea

Here’s an outfit idea for early fall, if your climate swings between warm and cool temperatures. I like a darker wash jean for fall and winter, though I will alternate with ecru. While leopard print is perennial, it does seem to be another micro-trend this fall, so I’m seeing more of it popping up here and there. The 90’s seem to be a big style influence at the moment, so if you love bold, sculptural jewelry, you’ll have a nice selection this season.

You can still catch these sales…

J.Crewextra 60% off sale styles, 40% off select full-price styles, code SHOPNOW

Talbot’s25% off new arrivals, 70% off all markdowns

Madewell30% off select pre-fall styles, extra 40% off sale styles, code COOLDOWN

By Brian20% off sitewide with code susanlabors . Save on skincare, makeup and classes!

Jenni Kayne20% off sitewide with code LDWEVENT20

EverlaneLabor Day weekend event, up to 60% off markdowns

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  1. So love how you are attaching prices below the shopping pictures. It is nice to see the blog up and running. I hope you are navigating your new normal. It must be a very hard adjustment.

  2. I love everything in this post, including the beautiful TJ’s flowers. I feel inspired to clean a few cobwebs, too. (Maybe!)

  3. I am going through my wardrobe as well. I have to give things away to make room for new things .
    As long as I can make somebody happy with my clothes, I am fine with that. Shoes are always more difficult. I bring them to a charity shop.
    I am trying to tidy the rest of the house too. Not easy.
    PS statement jewellery..YAY

  4. Hi Susan, What a beautiful Fall outfit, love it. I have always loved la rentrée- even before I learned the phrase in French class, that feeling of fall coming around. My favorite time of year, especially the clothes. Fall is in the air down here in La Mesa, even with the heat and humidity and sweaters still put away.
    My eye went right to the herbes de Provence in your beautiful French Country Home Box. I used them for the first time last year, in a delicious lentil soup. Do you have any favorite recipes you like to use them in?

  5. Herbes de Provence is my favorite spice mix. My daughter is an organic farmer, so may I, respectfully, make a plug for organic herbs? You won’t get the pretty container, but you’ll be getting great taste and know you’re helping the land as well.

    1. I know not everyone can do this, but I find it very easy and convenient to grow my own (organic!) herbs. Most of them are in pots, and are doing pretty well even in this brutal Texas heat. Currently I have basil, thyme, oregano, sage, and chives in pots, and a huge rosemary shrub in the yard that my husband keeps threatening to chop back. My parsley did just give up the ghost recently, but I’ll plant another when the weather cools a bit…and swap out the hot weather basil for some cool weather dill.

  6. Dear Susan, I’m so glad you’re buying yourself flowers. We’re doing the opposite here – Spring cleaning. Actually more decluttering than cleaning…
    I love your beautiful new ladle. Raining here so I’ll be making soup today.
    I love everything about your outfit too, you’ve reminded me to dig out my leopard ballet flats, wooden bangles and see if my off-white jeans still fit!
    Best wishes,
    Julie xx