This & That: August 21, 2020

Aug 21, 2020

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The Canadian mystery series set in the 1920s I am loving, two new movies on Amazon worth watching, a new novel that takes a look at the famous family of brothers and lesser known sister of the trio, a worthwhile discount on a trusted French skincare company, sales on summer styles and yep, much more!


The Rocket Years: How Your Twenties Rocket the Rest of Your Life by Elizabeth Segran

Released this past March, The Rocket Years is a book to read whether you are someone in your twenties or know someone in their twenties. “Rather than prescribing one correct path (who are we kidding, there’s no such thing anyway!), Elizabeth Segran invites readers to think critically and holistically about the life they want to build. With signature warmth and humor, Segran is the guide we all wish we had to show us the way. Blending insightful anecdotes with research from economics, sociology, and political science, The Rocket Years is an empowering exploration of these exciting, confusing, wonderful years.”

The Wright Sister: A Novel by Patty Dann

Released earlier this week, author Patty Dann shares her epistolary novel of historical fiction that imagines the life of Katharine Wright and her relationship with her famous brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright. “In The Wright Sister, Dann imagines the blossoming of Katharine, revealed in her ‘Marriage Diary’—in which she emerges as a frank, vibrant, intellectually and socially engaged, sexually active woman coming into her own—and her one-sided correspondence with her estranged brother as she hopes to repair their fractured relationship. Even though she pictures ‘Orv’ throwing her letters away, Katharine cannot contain her joie de vivre, her love of married life, her strong advocacy of the suffragette cause, or her abiding affection for her stubborn sibling as she fondly recalls their shared life.”


Illustrated: Step by Step Baking: Classic and Inspiring Variations to Hone Your Techniques by Caroline Bretherton

Sharing 80 fully illustrated classic baking recipes, step-by-step, learn how to make them and then discover more than 250 variations on those classics, or use them as inspiration to build on what you’ve learned and experiment with your own baking creations.


Chemical Hearts

Released today on Amazon Prime, this teenage angst film is one to check out. A hopelessly romantic senior in high school played by Austin Abrams falls for a mysterious new classmate Lili Reinhart. Their relationship will take them down an unexpected journey opening up insights and discoveries about life and themselves. Have a look at the trailer below.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story the Fire Saga, Netflix

A much more light-hearted film, if you are looking for a Will Ferrell-romantic comedy (aka satirical, hilarious and adorable), then you will want to watch this film. Co-starring Rachel McAdams, I thoroughly enjoyed this film a couple of weeks ago, and especially the ending. Recommended to me by fellow blogger Michael Wurm Jr. of Inspired by Charm, I want to thank him for this relaxing, laugh-at-American-tourists (i.e. me and many TSLL readers) who travel-to-Europe, that, well, is just fun. Dan Stevens (from Downton Abbey) also has a part in this film which is set in Iceland. Sharing beautiful videography, settle in to relax and laugh at some absurdities most definitely, but a lovely story as well. Written and created by Will Ferrell. Check out the trailer below.

Made in Italy

Now this will be the film I settle in to enjoy this weekend. Released just this week on Amazon Prime, starring Liam Neeson alongside his son Micheál Richardson, who plays his son in the film, be swept away to Tuscany. Based upon a father and son whose relationship is estranged, the two return to Tuscany to restore a family villa, as well as their relationship as they reflect, journey through the pain and celebrate on the other side. Have a look at the trailer below and enjoy.

Francophile Find

L’Occitane 20% discount

As the school year nears, I am going through my Back-to-School/Work Checklist, and having simple everyday luxuries at-the-ready is part of the prep. In this case, my favorite hand and foot lotion for my home and office. L’Occitane’s lavender and shea butters are my go-tos, and with the opportunity to save 20% off your order when you spend $70 or more with promo code NEWVIP, I couldn’t pass up the savings. As well, if you regularly want your favorite products to be refilled without having to remember to purchase them again and again, be sure to sign up for their auto-replenishment.

The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral (A Provençal Mystery) by M.L. Longworth

Excited to share that M.L. Longworth’s next book in her Provençal series has been announced! We will have to wait until April 13th of next year, but still – it is coming!!! Here’s the synopsis . . .

When the director, Monsieur Achille Formentin, walks in one beautiful April morning, he is shocked to find the whole museum emptied of its contents–only a bench, the reception desk, and a lowly fern remain. Distressed, he calls the local police, and Aix’s examining magistrate Antoine Verlaque sets out to discover the thief’s identity. But it’s the most baffling case Verlaque has ever encountered. Why would someone want to steal porcelain dessert plates, some old documents, and a few small paintings? Could this have something to do with the mysterious robbery of Madame de Montbarbon’s apartment a few weeks earlier? And how can Verlaque possibly concentrate on the theft when he and his wife, Marine Bonnet, are going to have a baby?”


J.Crew Linen-blend V-Neck Dress (two colors)

A linen-blend, this simple, yet ideal-for-the-upcoming-fall-season dress is timeless in its design. Check out both colors.

Joie Warehouse Sale, up to 80% off

Significant reductions are to be scooped up at Joie’s warehouse sale. If you are looking to save money on your summer capsule, and there are even items that would work well for the fall for layering, be sure to take a look. The prices are quite sweet.

La Ligne NYC Wen Shirt

I just love this striped blouse, and could see pairing it with high-waisted pants as seen in the pic, or a pencil or A-line skirt, even jeans. Quite versatile and perfect for a capsule item to include this fall.

The Outnet Sale

As the fall collections are just about to become available, online shops are trying to clear out their inventory, so be sure to peruse for your favorite designers and see what is available. I have shopped a few items below.


Frankie Drake Mysteries, three seasons

I am currently in the middle of season 2 of Frankie Drake Mysteries and am so happy to know there is a Season 3. The most recent season was released this past fall in Canada and is now available on PBS Masterpiece or Amazon Prime. The entire leading cast is spectacular with their charming, intelligent, kind and humane approach to solving murders during the 1920s in Toronto. Have a look at the trailer for Season 3, but be sure to start with Season 1.

~recipe for Fresh Clam, White Wine, THyme & Caramelized Onion Pasta~

And all of a sudden, out of the blue, a leap of progress is seen.

Perhaps it is better when we don’t expect it as it is a surprise as our delight is far greater and our appreciation less easily forgotten. How can we make such a feeling habitual? Simple. Let go of expectations.

Yes, we need to have clarity of our direction, invest with our time and effort, but then, the less stressful way, is to relinquish a demand that it must be just so.

I had completely put out of my mind a purchase I had made months ago as I was planning the decor of my garden porch. Hoping it would all come together in time for French Week, and soon realizing it would not happen, I did my best to forget about. And forget about it did until I received a phone call this week that the Fermob bistro set I had ordered from France was ready for pick up. To say I did a happy dance would be the correct answer.

Certainly such quality items and items I had planned on hoping to bring into my new home years before I even had a home of my own are worth remembering, but it was the letting go of when they would arrive, knowing that they would, that made the news so much sweeter.

A lesson for all hopes and dreams in our lives, non?

Summer is beginning to wind down, and school is just around the corner, but before that schedule begins, the boys and I are going to take a quick trip to somewhere we love. A nice getaway is always good for the mind and being, and especially now, no matter how small or not so far away, it sounded like a good idea. I hope you are able to do something that enables you to breathe deeply, let go of any worries you may be holding on to, and rejuvenate your life, if only for a day or two. I am confident such an investing in our well-being has residual benefits for the daily life we return to and those around us.

Below I have gathered up a handful of articles, a series trailer for Anglophiles and a video my fellow gardeners – and perhaps cooks and bakers will enjoy also. Wishing you a lovely weekend. Thank you so much for stopping by, and until Monday, bonne journée.

~Mark you calendars for November 15th – The Crown returns for Season 4! Check out the trailer teaser just below.

~I just love this house tour (so much I shared a few pics a couple of months ago), and this post shares even more. Co-designed by British designer Rita Konig and American designer Gil Schafer, settle in for a sweet look-and-see and find inspiration galore for a cozy approach to decorating. [Coco Kelley]

~Learning to live with the Coronavirus and live now and not waiting until the vaccine is available (and safely so) [The New York Times]

~Heather Clawson of Habitually Chic takes reader through a tour of Edith Wharton’s The Mount

~Irish cookbook author Trish Deseine is selling her French country home [Image]

~A worth-reading article about why what politicians wear is covered [The New York Times]

~Paris’ Best Non-Touristy Museums [HiP Paris]

~Speaking of Paris, masks are made mandatory in parts of the city [BBC]

~How to Push Yourself to the Next Level and Achieve Success [Life Hack]

~Why We Can’t Stop Bingeing Old Shows During the Pandemic [NPR]

~Mary Barry talks about her new garden and gives a bit of tour.

20 thoughts on “This & That: August 21, 2020

  1. Tonight we’re having homemade pizza with your crust recipe from earlier this week, a lovely glass of red wine (Italian), and now will be watching “Made in Italy.” I traveled to France last week, so am spending the night in Italy tonight! Thanks for the recommendations, and bonne journee! 🙂

  2. Gil Schafer is the master of luxurious simplicity. Love all of his work…I study his books before making any major design choices in my home.
    Excited to see all that is coming to fruition in your home Shannon. Best of luck and enjoy your get away this weekend.

  3. So much to enjoy this week! That NYT op-ed was excellent reading and certainly an eye-opener. Excited about a new season of The Crown, and Mary Barry’s garden❤️❤️.
    Have a great weekend too.

  4. Lovely! I waited to read this post until I had a quiet moment to myself this (Saturday) morning. So many favorites: The Mount (I grew up not far from EW’s home), Mary Berry, a new show to try . . . you’ve hit it out of the park!

  5. As usual, you have so many wonderful ideas. I am grateful and have some good watching ahead of me!

  6. The Gil Schafer/ Rita Konig house gives me so many ideas!! Such a perfect mix of cozy and classy. I’ve gotten better about mixing and matching colors, textures, and styles over the years, but seeing these designs always encourage me to do more. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Kristin, So happy to hear! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 It sounds as though you are quite the decorator and having fun with combining what you love and create a truly welcoming and signature home. Delighted to read your comment. 🙂

  7. Thank you so much for the recommendation of the Frankie Drake mystery series. I had just completed the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and was searching for something similar. I am truly enjoying it!

    1. I absolutely loved it! And in my opinion, each season gets better. The third is fantastic! I just wrapped it up and cannot wait for their fourth – I do hope they will have one. So happy to hear you are enjoying it Lilia 🙂 Thank you for your comment.

  8. If you like Frankie Drake, you might also enjoy another Canadian series, Murdoch Mysteries. It is available on the CBC app “Gem”. There are 13 seasons, 14th just started filming, and I believe they are up to 1905.

      1. Hi, Shannon – there will indeed be a Season 4 of Frankie Drake Mysteries. I’m in Canada so I just checked it out. You must also look at Murdoch Mysteries but start from the beginning.

  9. Just catching up but loving your recommendations. I have added one of the ML Longworth books to the TBR and the Frankie Drake mysteries is right up my street. But Mary Berry is a national treasure and I would wholly recommend treating yourself to one of her books.

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