This & That: December 13, 2019

Dec 13, 2019

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At Home With Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Books by Estelle Ellis

A theme is emerging when it comes to the books on decor shared here on TSLL – books, books and how to decorate with books. 🙂 Estelle Ellis’ decor book was published many years ago – 1995 – but finding inspiration for how to organize your books need not have a time stamp. Pour through At Home With Books and discover “professional advice on editing and categorizing your library; caring for your books; preserving, restoring, and storing rare books; finding out-of-print books; and choosing furniture, lighting, and shelving”. I am putting this book on my wishlist.

Making A Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live by Melanie Falick

More recently, just this past October in fact, Melanie Falick’s new book Making a Life shares what talented artisans from around the globe revealed to her about their craft and why they create with their hands: “We make in order to slow down. To connect with others. To express ideas and emotions, feel competent, create something tangible and long-lasting. And to feed the soul”. Read their stories paired with inspirinng full-color photography and be inspired to carve your own path to cultivate a life of authenticity and meaning.

Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday

Also released this past October, if you are curious or interested in the way of living that is Stoicism, Ryan Holiday’s new book is one to read. If you are feeling overwhelmed in our world that is on constant overdrive, pick up Stillness is the Key to discover “the stillness that we all seek is the path to meaning, contentment, and excellence in a world that needs more of it than ever”.


First, We Brunch: Recipes and Stories from Victoria’s Best-Loved Breakfast Joints by Rebecca Wellman

Let’s travel to Victoria, Canada, without stepping outside our kitchens. In photographer and writer Rebecca Wellman’s cookbook, she shares 60 recipes from the top mid-morning eateries in the city named after the now second longest reigning queen of England. Discover “the people and stories behind the capital city’s diners, bistros, cafés, coffee shops, bakeries, and more. Get the inside scoop on iconic diners such as Floyd’s and newer hot spots like Jam, Agrius, Be Love, and Nourish”.

British Find

Clue: Downton Abbey

Okay, just for fun, after all it is the holiday season, I thought I would share this Downton Abbey themed Clue game. It’s never a bad idea to put the phone down and go old-school for our entertainment, especially during the holidays. Good luck and have fun!



Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie each earned a Golden Globe nomination (best actress and best supporting actress respectively) for their roles in the just released film inspired by real events, Bombshell. Nicole Kidman also stars in what critics are in disagreement about, but as you will see from the trailer, it certainly is a film that reflects the times we find ourselves regarding women, the workplace and the political polarization of our country. As a fan of each of these actresses, I am looking forward to viewing it. Have a look at the trailer below and find it in theaters today.

A Hidden Life

Premiering in select theaters today, A Hidden Life is based on real events and is written and directed by Terrence Malick. “The story of an unsung hero, Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II, the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife Fani and children that keeps his spirit alive”. Have a look at the trailer below.

Marriage Story

Receiving many positive reviews and being included in the Top 10 Movies of 2019 lists with frequency, Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach and starring Scarlett Johansson, Adam Drive and Laura Dern is now available to view on Netflix. Some have equated the film to the 21st century’s version of Kramer vs. Kramer, but most critics are applauding its revelation of marriage, divorce and keeping a family together in our modern time. Have a look at the trailer below.

Francophile Find

Lunch in Paris: Delicious and Simple French Recipes by Suzy Ashford

Released this past September, travel to Paris without leaving your home as Suzy Ashford takes you arrondisement by arrondisement with each chapter to explore the food and the locations to put on your itinerary for your next lucky opportunity to travel to the City of Light. Sharing “fifty simple and classic examples of French cuisine, this book proves that you need not go to Le Cordon Bleu culinary school to perfect a Pork and Pistachio Terrine. Or a Caramelized Onion- and Goat-Cheese Tartlet. Or an Olive-and-Anchovy Pissaladière. Or a Comté-and-Asparagus Tart (among many more)”.

My Stylish French Box, February Box – Dans Ma Cuisine!

The last time Sharon Santoni chose the theme of French cuisine for her My Stylish French Box, I could not believe how spoiled each receipient was upon receiving its contents. I still use the ceramic bowl, the linen apron and savored the recipes that were included. Needless to say, this will be a box you will treasure if you too love stepping into your kitchen. Place your orders now as they are limited.


The Europeans

The Europeans podcast has been around for more than a few years (and I even included the show in a This & That at the time), but their recent show topics have been of great interest to me, and perhaps they will be to you as well. Hosted by two Europeans, learn more about the current cultures and past histories of the countries that so many of us visit or hope to visit soon.


Olivia von Halle Coco Sky Silk Pajamas

A luxurious set of pajamas that are indeed an investment, but if you are looking for a special gift for someone who loves luxurious clothing (but knowing clothing is so hard to shop for), Olivia von Halle’s sleepwear is unparalleled. Her London company was founded in 2011 inspired by the 1920s, Coco Chanel and her contemporaries as von Halle looked to design clothing for that moment at the end of the day when we are lounging in our homes but still want to look and feel stunning and absolutely comfortable. Perhaps a pair is in your future with a little saving up. Now that would be a great gift to receive and one that would last and be enjoyed for years to come.

~recipe for Pavlova with Lemon Curd~

The weekend of the Christmas tree hunt has arrived! And just in time for a snowstorm to hit Bend. Be sure to follow along on Instagram as I will attempt to share what we find on our outing to bring home the first tree for my new house. Last week I decided to make a few ornaments as I am changing up my color scheme, simplifying, but at the same time just trying something new to see what works. So, needless to say, we will see what works this weekend! Hopefully at the end of it all, there will be a tree standing all alight and bright in the house. *fingers crossed*

I can hardly believe that the end of 2019 is so near, but that means much celebrating, relaxing and gathering is even closer. I hope your holiday season is going well, and thank you for stopping by the blog today. Have a wonderful weekend, and until Monday, bonne journée!

~Things to Do in Paris at Christmas [David Lebovitz]

~How to Mind Your Digital Manners [The New York Times]

~The 25 Rooms That Transformed How We Design [The New York Times]

~The Paris Strikes Explained [The New York Times]

~Seeking Good News! Check out this site – Beautiful News

~Janine Marsh shares 30 Things She Loves About France [Complete France]

11 thoughts on “This & That: December 13, 2019

  1. Terrific list this week, Shannon! I finally signed up for My Stylish French Box and I’m delighted to see a new Malick movie is out – I love him! As a retired librarian I’m happy to see the book about caring for books! Will check out the podcast as well – I’m trying to upgrade my podcast listening – have gotten in the bad habit of listening to true crime podcasts, which are upsetting and feel like exploitation. Would love to hear other recommendations for podcasts you listen to.

  2. Happy Friday! Your This & That is always a highlight to start my weekend. I so appreciate your week ending email round up and am glad you offer the option for one email per week so I can truly savor the content your create and the inspiration your provide. Every week I say you have outdone yourself, and this week was not different. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  3. I love First, We Brunch <3
    I can certainly attest that Brunch is done very well in Victoria, British Columbia – I read that we are the top brunch place in Canada. Thanks for the highlight, eh!?

    If you wanted to visit, we have an airbnb called "Vic Foodie BnB By The Sea-Cook Street Village" on the airbnb app and we list all the latest & greatest of dining, wine, beer, tea places. The TSLL community is very welcome at ours.
    Tania Rice, Victoria

    1. Kitty, thank you for sharing al of this! Victoria is such a gorgeous destination to visit and knowing the food (especially for brunch) is top notch makes all the more enticing to visit. 🙂

  4. We just live up-Island a bit from Victoria & are moving there in mid-2020 when the house we’re building is completed, so “First, We Brunch” is a like a cosmic gift — thank you so much! I ordered it today & look forward to trying every place mentioned — I do love a challenge, especially when it involves food 🙂

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