This & That: December 11, 2020

Dec 11, 2020

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Holiday festive finds from gifts for French wine lovers, ornaments, tours of British homes during the holidays, as well as fantastic finds regardless of the season – two rom-coms, one musical, a new book for helping usher in the transformation you seek, learn more about royal train travel, and that’s just the start. There’s so much more. ☺️


Badass Habits: Cultivate the Awareness, Boundaries and Daily Upgrades You Need to Make Them Stick by Jen Sincero

Released earlier this month, bestselling author Sincero explores what sits at the core of transformation. “The book includes interviews with people who’ve successfully strengthened their discipline backbones, new perspective on how to train our brains to become our best selves, and offers a simple, 21 day, step-by-step guide for ditching habits that don’t serve us and developing the habits we deem most important. Habits shouldn’t be impossible to reset–and with healthy boundaries, knowledge of–and permission to go after–our desires, and an easy to implement plan of action, we can make any new goal a joyful habit.”

Blowing My Way to the Top: How to Break the Rules, Find Your Purpose, and Create the Life and Career You Deserve by Jen Atkins

Entrepreneur and celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin’s new book shares how to find your voice and create the life and the career you love. Part how-to and part memoir, Atkins who has been “hailed by the New York Times as ‘the most influential hair stylist in the world,’ speaks frankly about the challenges she’s faced and provides crucial advice for other women, from the importance of running your business like a feminist to building camaraderie amid the competition to learning to navigate the work and life issues that impact women most.”

British Find

—Secrets of Royal Travel, episode 1 – Secrets of the Royal Train, PBS

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge recently wrapped up a two day train Tour of Thanks which made me all the more interested in this three part series on PBS – Secrets of Royal Travel. I have linked to the full episode of “Secrets of the Royal Train” (44 minutes). There is just something about this mode of transportation that sparks my love of travel. Have a look at the trailer below.


Sant Ambroeus: The Coffee Bar Cookbook – Light Lunches, Sweet Treats, and Coffee Drinks from New York’s Favorit Milanese Café

If you are looking for a lovely cookbook full of delicious treats from a beloved New York café (founded in the early 80s), this is the cookbook for you. The original location situates itself in the Upper East Side, and now three other locations have opened. From “art lovers, and executives from the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art and midtown, and travelers from Central Park, the hand-baked breads and pastries, savory sandwiches, creamy gelatos, and perfectly crafted coffee drinks have spawned an empire with four locations in Manhattan, one in the Hamptons, and one in Palm Beach.”


Love, Weddings & Other Disasters

I happened to stumble upon this film in Amazon Prime and immediately placed it on my watchlist. Have a look at the trailer. With Diane Keaton and Jeremy Irons at the helm, it looks quite delightful.

The Prom

The musical to inspire you to get up and dance is finally available to view on Netflix – The Prom! Have a look at the trailer – the cast alone drew my eye.

Wild Mountain Thyme

Lesser well-known, but premiering this weekend and worth watching, written and directed by the creator of Moonstruck John Patrick Stanley, travel to Ireland and enjoy a fun and beautifully located rom-com. “The headstrong farmer Rosemary Muldoon (Emily Blunt) has her heart set on winning her neighbor Anthony Reilly’s love. The problem is Anthony (Jamie Dornan) seems to have inherited a family curse, and remains oblivious to his beautiful admirer. Stung by his father Tony Reilly’s (Christopher Walken) plans to sell the family farm to his American nephew (Jon Hamm), Anthony is jolted into pursuing his dreams in this comedic, moving and wildly romantic tale.” Have a look at the trailer below and find it where you stream your films.

Francophile Find

Jamie Beck’s 2021 Calendar

If you have been enjoying American photographer Jamie Beck share her life in Provence, especially during her #isolationcreation series, you will want to be sure to purchase her 2021 calendar (a first from this talented artist). AND for short period of time use promo code ASUNNYNEWYEAR to save $10 off the original price.

A little lovely detail to note is that after each month has passed you can neatly remove the calendar dates (seen above each image) and have a beautiful print to frame. Each image contains captures of sunflowers in some way, and will certainly brighten any room offering a window to France.

Sézane Round Cushion (more colors and two sizes)

Bring a touch of France into your home with these round velvet cushions. Four different shades and two different sizes, scoop them up now as they are going fast.

Sommailier Wine Club

Having wine in the house is a must at Le Papillon as I love to cook with it and pair meals to elevate the flavor all the more. However, knowing what wines to enjoy and trusting the selection takes time and exploration. Why not, join Sommailier’s Wine Club (two different options – C’est La Vie and Rendez-vous) and have French wine shipped directly to you each season (every three months)? Have a look below at the video to discover what is included in each delivery. And if you have a wine-lover on your list, this might just be the perfect gift. The prices are quite reasonable as well for either three or six bottles with each shipment.


Opinel Hand Pruner

Perhaps this one could be placed in the Francophile Finds section, but while it’s French-made, it’s definitely for TSLL gardeners. 🙂 Available in two different colors, from the trusted French pocket-knife company, discover a versatile pruner for your many gardening needs – “Outfitted with a stainless steel blade with a cutting capacity of 20mm (a bit over ¾”), the pruner offers three positions for a range of branch diameters and hand sizes. The comfortable beech hardwood upper handle is combined with a guard of durable, brightly colored polymide—making the pruner easy to find in the garden or tool shed.”


Mariah’s Magical Christmas, AppleTV

Ah, now this is a holiday special full of cheer. 🙂 Premiering world-wide on December 4th, exclusively on AppleTV, join Mariah Carey and a talented cast to fire up the Christmas spirit. Check out the trailer below and stream it now.

Market Bag Glass Ornament, Sur la Table

A BIG thank you to TSLL reader Demi for sharing this lovely French find with me. 🙂 AND it just went on sale as well. 🙂 So I scooped up one for myself and perhaps you should too (or for that Francophile on your gift list).


DVF Stella Silk Crepe de Chine faux-wrap midi dress

Perfect for the holiday season no matter how small the gathering might be – a new silk dress from DVF.

Rag & Bone Ariel Beanie

Simple, stylish and functional as it will certainly keep your head warm in the chillest days of the year.

Rag & Bone Pierce Cashmere V Neck sweater (more colors)

Cozy and cashmere. Yep. Count me in!

Alex Mill Reading Sweater, Cup of Jo

Blogger Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo has partnered up again with Alex Mill in bringing us all exactly what the name shares – the perfect reading sweater, and now available in stripes as well (seen here).

In the full holiday spirit we are here in Bend! The boys and I went out and picked out our Christmas tree last weekend, spent Saturday decorating the house and then snuggled in that same evening with me feeling like a giddy child fully grateful to have a home to decorate and be warm inside. I look forward to sharing peeks into my home and holiday decor tomorrow in the first Holiday Cooking Episode of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen where I will share three recipes – a full hour long episode I do hope you enjoy. Look for it right here on the blog (it will be shared later this month just prior to Christmas on YouTube).

While we don’t have snow on the ground in Bend at the moment, my fingers and toes are crossed that that might change this weekend and into next week. Tonight my neighborhood is having our annual lights decoration walk and tour where we all wander about the neighborhood, sipping wassail and vote on the houses to see whose house is the most festive. Personally, no awards or competition are needed, but if it inspires people to partake, I am all for it. 🙂 Having taken many walks in the evening lately, it will be hard to choose as so many people stepped up and shared their cheer with us all.

Today’s This & That became an unintended Holiday Festive offering in many ways, and I have a few more links and videos below that will keep you in the festive spirit. Of course, there are always other posts and videos I have gathered I think you will enjoy as sometimes we can get holidayed out, so find your perfect balance of just enough and snuggle in for a wonderful read this weekend. Happy Hanukkah to everyone who observes in celebration, to all TSLL readers, thank you for your time taken to stop by. I do hope you will join me tomorrow morning for the holiday cooking episode. Until then, bonne journée.

—Danish Hygge may be old news for some, but what about saying hello to Swedish Mys? [The New York Times]

13 Traits of Successful People [Live Bold and Bloom]

A fun read comparing current pandemic dating with Jane Austen’s novels [The New Yorker]

The lockdown in Britain inspiring more gardening and in so doing more archeological treasures found! [The New York Times]

Tour Pascale Smet’s beautiful home in Suffolk and find inspiration for decorating from the garden. [House & Garden UK]

Discover what the French drink at Christmas [SomMailier]

7 Ways to Break Boundaries and Self-Imposed Limits [LifeHack]

—Many of us may already know this to be true, but yet another study (this one a 10-year long study) linking music and improved scores in Math and Science [NPR]

A lovely British decor guide for decorating for Christmas from interior designer Carlos Garcia (one of accounts I enjoy following on IG @carlosgarciainteriors)

4 Items to always have in your pantry according to the longest living people in the world [Well + Good]

—Motivation to sit down and write those holiday cards this season – The psychological benefits of writing by hand [Fast Company]

~Maybe you are one of the many people who has read Charlie Mackesy’s illustrated book The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse (if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it). Either way, the recent interview with Mackesy in his home in Walberswick, England, is worth watching [CBS Sunday Morning] (follow him on IG here)

—As we are spending more time with our loved ones as we work from home, we may want to know how to Fight Smarter and Avoid Common Argument Patterns. Ester Perel’s short video is worth checking out.

—Last, but certainly not least. This video, especially for Anglophiles, will usher you into the holiday spirit in cosy style. A lovely holiday excursion into Amanda Brooks’ Cotswolds home and business (if you love color when it comes to the holidays, you are going to enjoy this video). Shop her store Cutter-Brooks here and explore the most popular ornaments – the mushrooms. I must say, while I love sooooo many of the ornaments she sells in her holiday collection, the seed packets caught my eye.

14 thoughts on “This & That: December 11, 2020

  1. Hi Shannon!
    Today I really like picture of your tree (a glimpse), trailer for Wild Mountain Thyme, Charlie Mackesey’s book, and You Versus Food!!! Great way to start my early morning, and I woke up to a little snow!!!
    Enjoy the season with your adorable boys, and stay healthy and safe.
    Merry Christmas early!!!:)

    1. Tamra, Good morning and thank you so much for stopping by and sharing what you caught you eye. 🙂 A full shot of my tree will be shared in tomorrow’s holiday cooking episode. It was such a delight to go hunting for it and bring it home. 🙂 Wishing you a festive weekend and a Merry Christmas. xo

  2. I just popped in for a quick scan while my English Muffin dough is resting. Thank You for such a diverse list of items for research. We are moving to total lockdown again and it will provide great diversion! We have no snow but the air is cool, my Doodle, Lola, loves the snow and cold. When I see your little Norman I know he must like it too! Enjoy the great comfort of your home, stay well.

    1. Thank you for introducing me to your Doodle Lola! Pups and the snow, such a fun sight to see when they romp around in it. Yes, Norman loves it and Oscar certainly prefers it over rain. :). Thank you so much for stopping by and wishing you well during this time of lockdown. May it go well and pass swiftly. 🙂

  3. Again after signing in there were at least 3 advertisements: Rocket mortgage, Loan Depot and Linkedin. I’m pretty sure we weren’t supposed to see ads once we started paying you. Thank you.

  4. Shannon thank you for the film recommendation . Diane Keaton (love her) and Jeremy Irons the quintessential English gentleman. Inspired pairing. The Sommailer is a great recommendation but at a.price. I currently have two of the wines listed in my cellar from my favourite vineyard Haut Bergeron so readers will not be disappointed. A la votre😊

  5. Love your post as always, Shannon! It’s quite the experience for me to read each “This and That.” I sit down with a warm beverage and pencil in hand and journal all of the new ideas that will let my mind play for the month. Thank you for curating all of these good finds!

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