This & That: No. 164

Jun 26, 2015

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~800 Grapes by Laura Dave

Set in a Sonoma vineyard in wine country, California, Laura Dave’s novel (June 2, 2015) is an escape and a summer leisure read to become engrossed in as it involves family secrets discovered just before the protagonist of the novel Georgia is about to marry. A story about relationships, life and the secret behind a worthwhile bottle of wine (hint: take a look at the title), I think you might enjoy with a glass of wine tucked away in the shade on one of our many hot summer days.

~J’Adore Montreal by Isabelle LaFleche

Successful Francophile novelist Isabelle LaFleche has just released a short 30 page Kindle edition of her beloved protagonist Catherine Lambert in J’Adore Montreal. Many of you may have become acquainted with Catherine Lambert in her previous two novels: J’Adore New York and J’Adore Parisand her journey to Montreal is certain to entertain and enthrall as LaFleche takes readers behind the scenes of haute couture in Montreal as Lambert is tasked with heading up Dior’s re-opening in the city’s chicest department store.


~Mr. Holmes

Last summer, Mitch Cullin’s 2005 book A Slight Trick of the Mind was adapted for the big screen in the film titled Mr. Holmes. Having been recently released in the UK on June 19th, it will arrive in the United States on July 17th. What is the plot you might be wondering? Ian McKellen stars as the 93 year old Sherlock Holmes who having been long-retired lives in a tucked away Sussex farmhouse with his housekeeper Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney) and her young son Roger. In revisiting an old case in which he adamantly disagrees with Watson’s account, he tries to recall the details for himself, but has trouble with his memory. The journey begins. Have a look at the trailer below.


~Stacey Kent

A Grammy-nominated American Jazz singer, I was recently introduced to Stacey Kent’s music as a reader suggested her French vocals, as well as her English tunes. Raised in New Jersey and trained in London, Kent’s talents lead the ear to believe she is not American, with her soft, bird-like tones, that dance with the music rhythms. Needless to say, I couldn’t have agreed more with the recommendation (Thank you Kel!), especially her Raconte-Moi (tell me) album which was released in 2010. Take a listen below and have a look at her tour schedule as she may just be in your area. 


~Eugenia Kim Francis woven straw hat

With summer comes the need for protecting our skin, and while sunscreen should always be worn, donning a chic hat isn’t a bad idea either. Eugenia Kim’s designs are abundant, and this design may just be the most versatile and worthy of bringing along on your travels.


~Lipault Luggage

Part of enjoying travel is ensuring that the going and coming is streamlined, effortless and void of headaches. A significant part of tending to each of these is the luggage we choose to use. I was recently given Lipault’s 20″ two wheel satchel in navy and was tickled with how well-constructed it was. Indeed it does fold-up with ease when empty for easy storage  (which is half the dilemma as well: where to put it in our homes when not in use), and it holds its shape (as you can see below in my Instagram pic). Ideal for a short weekend getaway, they also have carry-on foldable luggage in a variety of colors.



rusticpeachrecipe ~recipe for Rustic White Peach, Blueberry and Basil Skillet Galettes~

As Friday morning begins, I am waking up in the city I will never tire of visiting, New York City. With a book signing scheduled for Saturday (click here for all of the details), today I am eager to explore, experience and enjoy as many places, haunts, museums, restaurants, and plays that I have been putting on my to-do list since last summer’s visit. And rest assured, you can come along with me via Instagram (@thesimplyluxuriouslife).

This past, and first week of summer has been a lovely one here on TSLL, and if you haven’t had a chance to see what we’ve been up to, check out this week’s episode of The Simple Sophisticate as we talk about all things summer, tune in to my interview with Tranquility du Jour‘s Kimberly Wilson as we discuss what living a simply luxurious life is all about, and did you see what Norman and I did on Monday? Phew, it’s been a busy, but very fun week, and now I think we all could use a respite. I do hope you enjoy yourself, and if you’re looking for some intriguing articles and posts, I’ve gathered a few below. Until Monday, bon weekend!

~A beautiful reminder of the benefits of letting go of busy . . . 10 Things to Look Forward to on the Other Side of Busy

~A timeless piece of kitchenware to have on hand is an item from Le Creuset, and David Leibovitz takes readers inside the factory in great detail. Enjoy the tour here.

~Traveling in Paris this summer or in the future? Bookmark this post from Hip Paris . . . Paris’ Best Natural Wine Bars & Shops

~So much truth in this post. A must-read . . . 5 Things That Happen When You Embrace Being Alone

~The best advice any mother should give their daughter when it comes to style . . . The Only Fashion Advice Your Daughter Really Needs

~And last, but definitely not least . . . 20 Things We Should Say to Ourselves More Often

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5 thoughts on “This & That: No. 164

  1. This is no understatement when I say that this blog and inspirational women commenting have helped give me a new lease to life and help me to take ownership of my life. Forever grateful and cannot wait to meet and relate to all those women who reclaim and live fulfilling lives. Cheers to us!

    Much love xxxx

    1. Salma, Thank you so much for your comment. Truly touched. You are very kind. I am thrilled to hear you have found the strength to step into your greatness. It was always there, sometimes it’s just waiting for us to find it, embrace and truly appreciate it. xoxo

  2. Hello Shannon,
    I have been following you on Instagram for a little while, but only recently discovered this blog and your podcasts. I’ve been enjoying listening to your podcasts while I go on my morning walks, while I’m doing the housework and even just while enjoying a cup of tea. It is so wonderful to find an intelligent, thoughtful voice like yours speaking about things that are dear to my heart. I was even more thrilled to discover you, like me, are an English teacher! I have ordered your book and am waiting patiently for it to reach me here in Australia, but in the meantime you have inspired me to reach for some non-fiction and to also explore some magazines and journals. I’m currently reading ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg and am finding it a very interesting read indeed. Like Salma above, your blog and podcasts have invigorated me and I can’t thank you enough and express how much I admire that you can do all this as well as maintaining a teaching position! I am in awe! Belinda

    1. Belinda, I am beyond humbled and touched by your comment. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. Lean In is a thought provoking book, one that can open up great discussions and potentially a shift in the improvement for everyone’s lives: women, men and children, simy by letting go of traditional stereotypical roles of how things should be done.

  3. Shannon, your move to Bend has reminded me of Angela M. Sanders, an Oregon author and perfume blogger. Her mystery series about a vintage clothing store owner in Poetland is a new favorite of mine. Sanders has sone fascinating interests, which she generously shares. I was thrilled to discover that one of my favorite perfumistas was a mystery novelist! (I’m not affiliated wih her in any way.) In case you and your readers are interested:

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