15 Things That Made Me Smile This Month, So Far . . .

Aug 26, 2020

The final full month of summer winds down more quickly each year, and perhaps the increased speed indicates more moments lived in the present and more moments of contentment due to clarity and thus calm. Consequently, if that is the case, I wouldn’t want to change the pace.

We have now passed the five month mark of our lives having been turned upside down, and so much feels as though it is the same with each month’s passing since it all began; however, while true in some regards, when examined more closely, great progress has been made.

Today, I would like to share with you moments that made me smile during this month of August so far. I continue to share this next truth each month, but it continues to hold true – writing this post deepens my appreciation and serves as a reminder that far more is going well than is not.

As I type, the sun and blue sky are brilliant here on the north Oregon coast. Ideal temperatures (high 60s -Fahrenheit), and calm as can be. While many of you know I welcome and drink up the rain (figuratively speaking), having such sunny days on the coast is infrequent, so I am doing my best to walk as much as my legs and the boys’ legs can handle while we are here. Speaking of the coast . . .

1.Time at the coast with the boys and watching their pleasure with each walk and stroll we take along the sand.

2. TSLL reader feedback

I haven’t had the opportunity to directly thank you, but I would like to do so now. More TSLL readers took the survey I posted at the beginning of the month than I ever thought might, and for your time and sincere interest, I am deeply grateful.

I am listening, and I have read each survey, your specific feedback, suggestions as well as what you love and return to enjoy. My web design team is busy at work preparing the blog for the changes that will be coming fully this October 1st (the soft paywall will be in place) and introduced largely on September 1st. As well, improvements such as slightly larger font, easier to read mobile layout for many of you who enjoy the blog on your phones and a few other updates will be appearing in the coming weeks.

The content that you have come to know and love is going to remain and be shared consistently as it always has, and for TOP Tier subscribers I have an exciting new addition I cannot wait to share along with an additional perk. Be sure to stop by Tuesday September 1st when a special, limited-time-only offer will be shared as well as the reveal of what the Tiers will be, the prices and the benefits of each one. But don’t feel rushed, as the soft paywall will not take effect until Thursday October 1st.

3. Finishing the annual (yes, I know it should be more frequent) polishing of my kitchen copper

4. Discovering that Norman, when he hears the doorbell, now assumes it is for him (and he is usually right)

Lately, my young neighbors – there are two households now for a total of five children all under the age of 7 – have come to my door in the evening, rung the doorbell, and politely asked if they could play with Norman. Norman obliges absolutely, and only once have I had to decline the invitation as we were relaxing inside after dinner. Each of the children (one as young as 2 1/2) are delightful, kind and polite, so I cannot help but smile each time they arrive. And now, yes, when the doorbell rings, Norman comes running with a smile.

5. Neighbors who exchange delicious and sincere thank yous

Speaking of my neighbors. I shared on my IG Stories earlier this month, having shared my strawberry bounty with my young neighbors (a handful each visit), their mother who was baking a family favorite recipe of banana muffins with them, had them bring me a warm-out-of-the-oven muffin which was made with almond flour and even had chocolate chips as a thank you for the strawberries. Pairing it with my morning tea, I devoured it and thanked them all. I couldn’t help but give the kids a written thank you note as I was delighted with their kindness and appreciated their thoughtfulness.

6. Reading books about food and cooking and gardening

My reading of choice this month has been light and delicious and instructive. I am loving it!

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Wednesday evening on the garden porch. #tsllfrancophilefind

A post shared by Shannon Ables (@thesimplyluxuriouslife) on

7. Discovering the fabrics and wallpaper of Lake August

I have two new home projects on the horizon – my bedroom and my sofa. Now “my sofa” may seem only part of a project, but trust me, I want to get it right, and I am willing to invest (as it has been over 14 years since my last sofa purchase and now I have learned far more about what makes a long-lasting and long-loving sofa). I am waiting on a few other items and details to be finished in my living room before making my purchase, but I am 95% confident I will be choosing the fabric and having the sofa custom upholstered, so I am have been searching different fabric companies, and Lake August which is located in California, caught my eye for its combination of English cottage and a touch of modern style.

8. Paddleboarding with Norman

Being close to or in the water with the birds and the fish in the early morning is special time, and I treasure it each time.

9. Beginning work with Veronique of Studio Vero on decorating my bedroom

To work with someone you trust and who understands your style aesthetic preference is not easy to find, but I have found such a person, who I call a friend, in Veronique Waldron. Her studio here in Bend, Studio Vero, offers European textiles as well as her many years of experience in the design world. I feel lucky to have her business in my backyard (so to speak), and in the months to come, I look forward to sharing with you how it all comes together.

10. Another TSLL French Week that took us back to France, albeit virtually

11. Madame de la Maison

If you are looking for an online French brocante to frequent, be sure to sign-up for email alerts from Madame de la Maison. As soon as new stock is added to her shop, she will email subscribers, and be sure to shop swiftly when you find something you want, her wonderful quintessential French finds sell quickly. I recently scooped up some “frogs” for flower arranging that were too great of a find to pass up.

12. Seeing my first (and then a second!) cucumber in the garden!

The young plant was given to me by my mother who grew the Socrates cucumber from seed, and having taken them to the coast with me for a favorite appetizer, these lovelies were delicious! I look forward to growing them on my own next year.

13. Saturday mornings spent watching the latest episode of Gardners’ World hosted by either Monty Don or Adam Frost.

Even if you don’t have a garden, this week show (which runs every Saturday from March through October) is soothing as not only will you learn how to plant what when and how, but also be given tours of gardens throughout the UK.

14. Brilliant hydrangeas in their full late summer show-stopping glory

15. Sunflowers

Yes, I shared that sunflowers were making me smile in July as well, but they still are! Whether found in my garden or along my walks, every time I happen up one, I cannot help but smile.

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So close. #tsllgarden

A post shared by Shannon Ables (@thesimplyluxuriouslife) on

Well, we still have nearly a week left of August, and I am determined to find and discover more moments and sights to make me smile. I hope your month has been full of such moments and may it offer you still many more. From the Oregon coast, au revoir!


~17 Things That Made Me Smile This Month, So Far . . . (July 2020_

~17 Things That Made Me Smile This Month, So Far . . . (June 2020)

~15 Things That Made Me Smile This Month, So Far . . . (May 2020)

~16 Things That Made Me Smile this Month, So Far . . . (April 2020)

~15 Things That Made Me Smile in March (March 2020)

~16 Things That Made Me Smile This Month, So Far . . . (February 2020)

~12 Things That Made Me Smile This Month, So Far . . . (January 2020)

17 thoughts on “15 Things That Made Me Smile This Month, So Far . . .

  1. Shannon I so love the photo of Norman on your paddle board. I was telling my husband the other day about how he sits on the front – and voila -here is photo!
    We are in the last few weeks of winter here in Australia so hoping for some warmer days. We are also in the midst of tight covid restrictions that include an 8 pm curfew so your list of “Things that made me smile” brightened my day – thank you. Gabrielle

  2. I agree, Gardener’s World is a delightful watch! Might I also recommend the UK programmes Gardening with Diarmid Gavin (Irish gardens) and The Beechgrove Garden (a Scottish one).

  3. Oh, what delightful photos to gaze at! Shannon, you really are a good photographer. Keep sending photos of Norman our way.

    1. Oh my goodness, it is too cute, especially when the 2 1/2 yr old asks who says Norman’s name in the most delightfully lovely way. Norman is over the moon with their affection (and similar size!). ☺️

  4. Oh I miss seeing the Oregon coast, it is so beautiful!
    And the neighborhood kids coming to your door to play with Norman is so cute!! I love that you seem to have great neighbors. My husband and I just passed 22 years of living in our home. We have really great neighbors and it helps one to feel more safe and secure with where you live.
    It seems like you really chose a great home and the right area in Bend. Very nice!

    1. Tamra, good and kind neighbors are indeed priceless. You are exactly right, you do feel safe and secure knowing such people live nearby. So happy to hear you have such neighbors and a neighborhood. Thank you for stopping by Tamra. 😌

  5. I always enjoy these posts, as they remind me to pause and think about things that make me smile!

    I thought of you recently when I watched a charming film on Prime Video — Swallows and Amazons — based on the children’s classic by English author Arthur Ransome (first published in 1930, with the action taking place in the summer of 1929 in the Lake District).


    You might recognize some of the British actors: Rafe Spall, Andrew Scott, Kelly Macdonald.

    Anyway, I think you would enjoy it, and pardon me if you’ve written about it and I missed it!

  6. Thank you so much Shannon for sharing your moments and giving us time to savor them and appreciate our own. Can you share how you clean your copper? I can’t wait to see your kitchen. Your home is beautiful!!

  7. These are always my favorite posts, I sincerely look forward to them each month! It’s really encouraged me to take a step back and truly appreciate the small things. So happy to have the Madame de la Maison information, I already see several items I’m positive I need! 😉

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