An Updated ‘About Shannon’ (and the boys) Page & Thoughts on Britain

Jul 30, 2018

Necessity is the mother of invention as the saying goes, and with Oscar now 13 1/2 years old and the momentary health scare I had with Norman this past spring (he’s fine now as we just became aware of a heart murmur that we are tending to successfully moving forward), I was reminded that I do not have a “family portrait” so-to-speak of all three of us. While I have many of each of them and them together, one with me and my boys has never been captured. Consequently, this became one of my top priorities before traveling to France last month.

Not one for posed pictures, and rarely getting in front of the camera on my own Instagram feed, I considered a variety of ideas that would exemplify as sincerely as possible, Shannon.  But the one thing that turned out to be the best idea was being amongst Mother Nature in Bend where we spend so much of our time together enjoying the everyday moments.

With the eye and photog know-how of my mom and my niece, we set out onto one of the many trails which the boys and I enjoy.

As someone who adores the rain, such days are few here in Bend, but we happened upon a day of sprinkles which offered the serendipitous setting for the images captured.

No, the images may not be what would be expected or wanted as a professional “author” or “about me” pic, but I am happy with them more than I could have imagined. I am grateful to my mom and niece for taking time to journey into the woods with the camera and espadrilles in tow not knowing exactly what we were going to discover and how to do so as runners were on their morning workout, the boys were … well .. dogs and weren’t quite sure what we were doing, and me trying to give directions, but I am sure I wasn’t as helpful as I thought I was being. 🙂

Needless to say, from the wearing of my favorite wellies, which each time I wear them reminding me of my love for the English countryside and growing inclination of being as much an Anglophile as I am a Francophile, to wearing a linen dress in the woods – all details and daily choices that enable me to feel most myself, these images are now the new ‘author’ images you will find on my “Start Here” page on the blog. No, there is no traditional close-up, but it is my hope that these images offer an introduction into the reality of sincerely living a life that is tailored to the individual who is living it and finding deep contentment in doing so. Living simply luxuriously – that is the close-up I have chosen to share as the blog moves forward. I am confident that so long as we each are authentic in what we are pursuing and cultivating, contentment is ours to savor in our everyday life.

TSLL began as an outlet and exploration, a place to connect with others from around the globe who were exploring how to live as well as possible all the while letting go of the unnecessary and deepening the quality of our lives. As the Start Here page shares, studying in France in my early twenties played a significant role in awakening this concept of quality over quantity in my life, and as I have continued to return to France, this appreciation and affection has grown; however, it was with my travels to England in 2012 and 2017 that brought to my attention the realization that many of my affinities for living the life I enjoy find their roots in the British culture as well. Beginning with the simple tradition of tea at-the-ready for sipping and slowing down, to the predilection of rainy day weather a favorite meteorologist report to see on the local news. Ironically, as I found it, both of my boys are English regarding their breeding, which made me smile upon recognizing this coincidence. But in all seriousness, there are many other aspects as well that speak to me culturally, and align with the life I thoroughly enjoy living. What readers of the blog and on IG saw last November, and kindly engaged with me about, was an experience that influenced me heavily, more than I anticipated in any predictable way.

While I will always want to return and vacation in France – the food, the sun, the people, the pace, the beauty, the history – I am beginning to understand that if I ever have the opportunity to live on the other side of the Atlantic, it will be in Britain with France far closer to be savored on a more frequent basis.

Thank you for listening and may you too discover those life journey ahas that clarify your direction.


~Outfit details: Raey split-skirt linen halterneck dress, navy Hunter packable tall wellies, denim jacket (similar)

37 thoughts on “An Updated ‘About Shannon’ (and the boys) Page & Thoughts on Britain

  1. So interesting! I am a British Francophile who has recently rediscovered a love for my own country as well as France. I think it has to do with an appreciation of seasonality, living in the moment and a ‘bloom where you are planted ‘ attitude. I love your thoughtful blog and am excited about your 2nd book

    1. Thank you Rachel for sharing where you find yourself. We certainly can love and have appreciation for many things, and there is much in this world in all countries and cultures to celebrate. Have a wonderful week. 🙂

  2. Shannon, it is your uniqueness that sets you and your projects apart from other bloggers. Your pictures portray your special qualities so well. When you “talk” to us, it resonates deeply. I’m glad that you have found your special way and have thereby helped us to discover ours. It’s a lovely journey! xo jan

  3. Congratulations to your Mom and niece for capturing such lovely moments of you with Oscar and Norman .

    The photos are a lovely addition to your ‘ About Shannon ‘ Page and illustrate so beautifully how you live your Simply Luxiourous Life , how the little things, like getting out into such beautiful surroundings with your boys, enhance your days.

    If you wanted to add a single picture of yourself onto the page as well, or use it as an author photo for your new book , the one taken of you by a fellow student on your Patricia Wells cookery course ( when you had cooked the white beans in basil sauce ) is such a lovely one, you look so happy and relaxed .

    The UK is a lovely place to live , we have such varied scenery , coastlines and cities, theatre, music and wonderful old houses and gardens to visit , but I have to say that I think the French way of life has much to recommend it .

    It is more formal in some respects, but very relaxed in others , and I rather like that.

    I’m so glad that you enjoyed your time in the UK when you stayed earlier in the year.
    The West Country is very beautiful.

    Thank you for the extra post ?


    1. Anne, thank you very much for your comment and idea for the author photo. If you take a look at the Start Here Page, you’ll see I have heeded your suggestion. 🙂 Thank you. ☺️

  4. My husband and I have been savoring a Netflix series called “Escape to the Country” Collection. Ironically, the episode we took in last night was of a single woman desiring to relocate from a hip neighborhood in London to the community of County Devon. Three places were toured and it was a delight! My husband did a year abroad in England so we really enjoy the simplicity and beauty of this show which moves at a pace where one can drink it all in. I have loved every episode and save it for Sunday with a glass of wine. Perhaps you would enjoy it too!

    1. Sherry, Thank you very much for bringing this series to my attention. I have it on my watchlist, but haven’t dove in yet. Perhaps that will change this week. Sounds absolutely delightful and full of inspiration and beauty.

  5. Hi Shannon! I really enjoy your site and look forward to reading your thoughts every day! I especially like the inspirational essays that you write!
    You mentioned that you had not found a site for good french white beans and I have found that Rancho Gordo beans out of Napa, CA
    are fresh and delicious. Customer service is really helpful in choosing among the many different varieties that they carry.
    Sending warm regards,

  6. The photos capture your authenticity. Your niece and Mom did a good job capturing that. I am a little surprised at your confessing an affinity for Britain. I thought France would have neen your choice
    It was always my dream to emigrate to England which I did and lived there happily for 47 years. I fell in love with France and now live here but some English habits like aftetnoon tea and walking in the rain are very close to my heart.Old habits etc. We can have the best of both worlds if we choose. Why not??

  7. I love these photos and they really do seem to capture your authentic style. A very good choice to represent your blog.

    On your recommendation of the Raey dress last September, I bought one in navy and its perfect for my English style too. I haven’t worn it with my denim jacket yet – I’ll copy your idea please!! And probably with my welly boots too as we’ve enjoyed some lovely rain today.

    Perhaps It could be more a state of mind than location but yes, I do think you have strong Anglophile tendencies. Have a cup of tea and a slice of cake to celebrate. ?

    1. Copy away! The dress is lovely and a classic in many ways. Perhaps you are right in some regards – a state of mind – rest assured, I will keep listening and trying to understand all that I am trying to make sense of as any move, if there is to be one, is far into the future. For now, I will continue to do what I love doing, being inspired by both cultures and incorporating into everyday life and sharing ideas on the blog. Have a beautiful week Hilary. 🙂

  8. Here here! I am also a Anglo/Franco phile (and actually have a king charles cavalier too! Would love to hear you expand into the UK on living the good life. Both countries speak to my heart.

  9. Stunning picture of en famille.. spelling? I grew up in S Africa with a British culture… and when I return home I spend many an afternoon at a top hotel having scones and tea!

    If you ever decide to move it would definitely be far easier socially in Britain Than France especially in I the beginning..

  10. Thank you to your mom and niece for capturing these beautiful pictures. I’m sure you treasure your fur babies,memories forever???
    Enjoy being where you are right now and the rest of your journey, wherever,whenever, will await its turn
    Love the life choices you are making??☀️?

  11. Aw such cute pooch photos 🙂 Really enjoy your blog & thoughts, I have a copy of your first book & look forward to the second. I’m a European I’m from & live in the U.K. (Edinburgh, Scotland) but spent some years living on mainland Europe and still have a few habits I picked up whilst living there! So nice to hear you are now becoming an Anglophile!! :))

    1. Caroline, Thank you for stopping by and for your interest in TSLL! I am excited to share and dive into both the Francophile and Anglophile passions moving forward. 😉 Although I think I already have been doing the Anglophile unknowingly. 🙂

  12. Such a lovely photo of the family! And yes! Please bring on the “Brit Week”–or any other musings you might have on the subject. Your thoughtful perspective, wit and guidance will be most appreciated. Tally ho! 😉

  13. What simply beautiful photos. In that first picture you look like a young teenager Shannon!! I though you were posting something from your childhood at first. As always, you take the more authentic road and stayed true to yourself. I so look forward to your posts and the insights and information you share.

  14. I will follow you all the more avidly if you “re-brand” as an anglophile! Cheers to your sense of self and discovery!

  15. Love these photos of you and the boys! Very nice update. Looking forward to more Anglophile posts. Enjoy your weekend Shannon.

  16. I love your blog it has an instant calming effect, no matter how I’m feeling as soon as I open the page the calm washes over me! Thank you!
    I’m a Francophile too, for both myself and my husband it is the sense of space and quiet that we love, even though, as country lovers with dogs we immerse ourselves in the countryside practically every day of the year, France is quieter…

    The UK is beautiful, and one of the advantages of being small is that one can experience a different landscape without having to travel too far.
    Happy to offer advice on good places to visit in fact for most of our holidays both in the UK and Europe we use the website to find accommodation. They have an ability to find something special and we cannot fault them. Yes the West Country is beautiful but then I’m biased!
    Best wishes

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