This & That: December 4, 2020

Dec 04, 2020

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Let’s just begin with the big news – Jenna Lyons returns. *it’s been too long, but it was worth the wait*. What else? So much! Three films – one new and two from the past worth watching, a new holiday baking show with a favorite comedy cast joining to spice up the fun, clothing to shop for winter and the bedroom, books, a French country calendar and much, much more.


House Lessons: Renovating a Life by Erica Bauermeister

Released this past spring by bestselling author Erica Bauermeister, House Lessons is a memoir which speaks to the power of our homes, especially the renovating of long ago built sanctuaries which require our time and investment and thoughtful restoration.

Infused: Adventures in Tea by Henrietta Lovell

Recommended by TSLL reader Sarah L, I wanted to share with you what looks to be a wonderful read. As a tea lover, this New York Times Book of the Year and winner of Fortnum & Mason’s Food & Drink Award for 2020, I was curious to learn more about the author’s mission, “to revolutionize the way we drink tea by replacing industrially produced teabags with the highest quality tea leaves.” Traveling to the Himalayas and Malawi, Infused invites us to discover these remarkable places, introducing us to the individual growers and household name chefs Lovell has met along the way – and reveals the true pleasures of tea. The result is a delicious infusion of travel writing, memoir, recipes, and glorious photography, all written with Lovell’s unique charm and wit.”

British Find

The Great British Baking Show, Holiday Episode, Season 3 (new episode)

Festive good news! A brand new episode of The Holiday Baking series of The Great British Baking Show just premiered on Netflix today. AND, if you, like me, thoroughly enjoyed the comedy series Derry Girls, you are in for a treat! The actors from the series (a third season is coming, but has been delayed due to Covid19) appear on this episode for a fun addition to the returning favorite bakers. Have a look at the trailer below and enjoy!


Let Them All Talk

While you will have to wait until next Thursday (December 10th), I wanted to bring your attention to a film that looks to be an absolutely fun film. Starring three of the great actresses on screen – Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen and Dianne Wiest – join the cast about an author – Streep’s character – who is trying to meet a looming deadline, and takes a cruise with her nephew and two friends in an attempt to have fun while dealing with some issues from the past. Premiering on HBO Max, and directed by Steven Soderbergh on an actual cruise ship with paying guests, much of the lines were improvised with only guidance of what to say, I think this will be a great film. Check out the trailer below.

Love Punch (2014)

From the past, but oh so good! I enjoyed Love Punch (available free to Amazon Prime members) this week, and it was the pairing of Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan along with a plot which begins in England and finishes in France that sold me from the start. The divorced couple team up on a daring adventure, and all the while reveal some lovely thoughtful insights about a lasting, loving relationship. I won’t give too much away. Check out the trailer below and enjoy watching. Emma is great fun.

Francophile Find

Clementine in the Kitchen (1943), a new edition, 1984

“French cooking for Americans was never the same after Clémentine came into our kitchens . . . This tale of a cook taught us that we, too, could turn out a splendid home-style French meal in our very own American kitchens.”―Julia Child

A TSLL reader brought to my attention Clementine in the Kitchen with her recommendation of this 1943 cookbook highly praised by Julia Child. “Revised by Narcisse Chamberlain, this cookbook and memoir taught a generation of cooks that French family cooking could easily flourish in their own kitchens. Written by the artist Samuel Chamberlain under the pen name Phineas Beck, it recounts the gastronomic adventures of the Beck/Chamberlain family during the decade that their beguiling Burgundian cook Clémentine produced wonderful French meals for them, both in France and in their New England home in Marblehead.” It looks like delicious and lovely fun reading.

French Country Diary, 2021

I stumbled upon Linda Dannenberg‘s annual calendar, a book full of beautiful photography capturing the French countryside – new photos each year, by chance on Instagram, and immediately I knew I wanted to share with you. Creating these book/calendars for twelve+ years now, they usually become available in August. Hardbacks and with weekly planning agendas paired with the gorgeous vignettes seen on French travels, pick a copy up for yourself or the Francophile on your gift list. She is also the author of French Country Kitchens (2008) which I have now put on my shopping list – from simple to spectacular kitchens, I have a feeling there are oodles of ideas to draw inspiration from.

Full Moon in Paris (1984)

A classic French film from the 80s, watch Full Moon in Paris. Have a look at the trailer below (subtitled) as it will fill you in on the plot.


Breton Stripe Cashmere Boatneck Sweater, Vince

It is sweater season and a quality sweater or sweaters are must-haves as they will last for years and not only serve their purpose (warmth), but reduce the need to perpetually go shopping for them when you need them each year. I absolutely love this boatneck cashmere striped one from Vince. I am going to wait until it perhaps goes on sale at the end of the year, but Vince’s quality is worth purchases having one of their sweaters in my closet now.

Longchamp sunglasses

It’s never too early to prepare for the sunshine, and at good prices for a quality pair and beautiful simple designs (no logo on the side, something I prefer), Longchamps’ many designs are worth checking out.

Norma Kamali light gray belted mélange stretch-modal robe

A simple, yet wonderfully placed midi-hem to bring stylish comfort to your morning routine with your cuppa.

Rya Collection Artisan Chemise in Oyster

And under that robe, this simply luxurious chemise could be worn.

SantM Furlane Slippers, Italian Velvet (many colors)

I have to share my continuing journey to find the perfect slippers. I shared a couple of weeks ago that I thought I had found what I had been looking for, but alas, no. The back heel held elastic that pinched my skin even though the size was perfect, so I have returned them. However, now I have my eyes on a pair of Italian velvet furlane slippers. Worn by gondolieri, they are made with slip-resistant rubber bottoms and look to be perfect for indoor and outdoor (at least just to step outside and grab the paper or water a few plants or two) pair. Available in a variety of colors for both men and women. I am saving up!


—Stylish with Jenna Lyons

My stylish self began to wake up a bit, maybe, dare I say, a lot, upon watching Jenna Lyons in her new series on HBO Max – Stylish w/Jenna Lyons. It has been far too long without her stylish expertise out in the public, and this time, she is styling both outfits and homes (beauty and life inspiration are dispersed here and there as well). Oh yes!! She is speaking my language. I watched the first episode which premiered last night on HBO Max and thoroughly loved it. Each episode, Jenna selects a couple of style assistance to help her style a project. The first episode they entirely redecorated a classic New York brownstone, and throughout, Lyons shares not only outfit tips but decor tips. Sign me up. My winter series to savor each weekend has arrived not that GBBO has wrapped up. Have a look at the trailer below.


Headspace, annual subscription, 30% off

Earlier this week, I shared a moment of meditation on IG as I begin my day, and a few readers asked about my routine with this practice. While I highly recommend reading this post, since writing that post, I have continued to use the Headspace App. For going on five years now and thousands of hours meditating (it keeps track of your minutes), I share and recommend without hesitation the helpfulness of this app. And even better, it is now 30% off for your annual subscription price (and not just for the first year, this is your set price). I scooped up this deal as my subscription ran out last week and am happy I did as the savings is significant from the previous price I was paying.

~recipe for Two-Booze Tiramisu~

I am most excited about this weekend. Last weekend I worked – taping the holiday cooking episode which will air next Saturay here on the blog and taping this month’s A Cuppa Moments (have you joined the conversation yet and viewed the chat? Become a Top Tier and enjoy!), and now this weekend is all about decorating the house, going out into the woods to cut down a tree and making the holiday food gift for my neighbors. I cannot wait! The music is cued up (see all of my 16 ideas for savoring the holidays this winter) and the boys will be joining me out in the snow (well, Oscar will supervise from the car, but Norman is all about playing in the snow. :))

Needless to say, I am tickled it is the weekend, and I hope you are too. 🙂 This holiday season may be different from years past, but this doesn’t mean it cannot be lovely. I am determined to make it so, and sitting by the fire each chilly evening with a cuppa or chocolat chaud certainly is helping to make this a reality.

Wishing you a wonderful festive holiday weekend however that looks most wondeful for you. Be sure to check out more than two handfuls of articles and two videos below, and until Monday bonne journée.

~27 Traits of a Good Friend [Live Bold and Bloom]

~Why a curious mind is a free mind [Tiny Buddha]

~Sarah Jessica Parker Talks Life in NYC and has a word to share with those who fled [Town & Country]

~Advice from an astronaut – How to deal with life in long-term isolation [New York Times]

~Monty Don’s December newsletter

~Perhaps this is why you are more exhausted than you think you should be, we’ve had to create new routines (and trusted old ones have been rocked) due to the shifts caused by the pandemic – The Power of Routines [The New York Times]

~How we got love all wrong and how to get it right [Pick the Brain]

~Even though we may appreciate our technology, if you have an longing for a more analog world, you’re not alone [The New York Times]

~Holiday decor help from The Grit & Polish5 Tips for Keeping Your Natural Garlands and Holiday Greenery Fresh Longer

~10 Proven Ways to Build Confidence and Believe in Yourself [LifeHack]

~What to do online in Paris in December [HipParis]

~Speaking of France, Where That Great French Salt Comes From [The New York Times]

~Escape around the world outside in Mother Nature with these stunningly beautiful International Landscape shots captured by the 2020 Photographer of the Year [The Atlantic]

~Gillian Anderson disappeared into the roll of PM Margaret Thatcher, and in this video, she shares how she got into the character

~A sneak peak at a film I am most looking forward to watching when it premieres on Netflix on January 29th (don’t worry, I will remind you when the date nears), The Dig, starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes, set in England pre-WWII.

10 thoughts on “This & That: December 4, 2020

  1. Shannon! Thank you for another wonderful This & That! I always take away a few things to keep my spirits up during these trying times. I was
    over the top this morning when I saw the Monty Don newsletter! My husband and I enjoy a daily episode of Gardeners World each afternoon with our coffee and sweet! We’ve been hopelessly hooked on All Things Monty since the beginning of our lockdown. The newsletter what such a surprise!


    1. Wanda, Good day and thank you for stopping by! Yes, Monty posts a new post at the first of each month which includes tasks in the garden for the month and other news along with many of his beautiful pics from the garden. I look forward to it each month. 🙂
      Have a wonderful weekend. ☺️

  2. House Lessons is a wonderful book and I have passed it on to several people who also gave it glowing reviews. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience with the book. It came highly recommended from a blogger I trust, and now I am even more intrigued with your wholehearted recommendation. Thank you!

  3. Thank you 3 times over for the recommendation of “The Love Punch!” My husband is making Steak Diane as I type and we will make our date night complete by adding this great suggestion. We LOVE Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson (and I love England and France and capers and comedies) but somehow missed this one when it came out. What a wonderful way to kick off the weekend!


  4. Thank you Shannon for another lovely this and that. Love that sweater too by Vince . I am crazy about stripes. Also the velvet slippers look so cute. I so agree that just because we’re in confinement doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Xmas. We need to pamper ourselves even more so. I think I love the build up to it more than the day itself. Savouring something festive daily whether It’s a vin chaud, a mince pie , or putting up some decorations with greenery picked from the garden all the while listening to the King’s College Choir. It’s a must in our house during December. Created by Henry VI who founded King’s College Cambridge in 1441 to provide daily singing in the chapel and it continues to this day. Also I would like to recommend the TV show ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ starring Dawn French as the Vicar. Set in a fictitious village in Oxfordshire It is very entertaining. She is one of my favourite comediennes. I too love offering home made gifts at Xmas and I think that home made gifts will be more meaningful this year. Had a Herculean task this week making and posting all my Xmas cards and presents to family and friends in England. Is the tradition of sending Xmas card still enjoyed in the US? Wishing you a wonderful week.😊🌲

  5. Absolute love Gillian Anderson – she embodies elegance. She played one of my favourite characters to date in a series called The Fall – DCI Stella Gibson. Very dark but great series.
    The Dig looks like a great one for the Netflix watch list!
    Thanks for the tips

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