This & That: June 26, 2020

Jun 26, 2020

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Cookbooks for delicious baking recipes, Parisian decor, Miss Fisher’s movie, a course for flower lovers, a summer read to slip away into, chic summer evening attire, classic jazz music duets and much, much more.


La Bella Figura La Vie en Rose Illuminating Rose Oil

If you follow photographer Jamie Beck on Instagram, you are no doubt familiar with her self-portraits and her ability to present luminous skin along with gorgeous vignettes. She regularly shares what skin products she uses, and it was announced just this week that a small Chicago beauty business partnered with Jamie to create their new Illuminating Rose Oil.

“Made with premium and organic camellia, lemon seed and French olive oils to nourish and hydrate the skin. Wild sea buckthorn helps boost energy into cells and encourages elasticity. The resplendence of La Vie en Rose derives from the Queen of flowers, the Damask rose cherished for her precious elegant perfume. Suited to all skin types, coloring and tones offering a silky luminosity to enhance your beautiful, healthy skin. Use on hair, body and face.”


A Beach Read: A Novel by Emiliy Henry

If you are looking for a fun summer read, and you are curious about the life of a writer (albeit, fictitious), this may be exactly the book you have been looking for. Released this past May, follow the summer writing lives of two authors, Augustus Everett – is an acclaimed author of literary fiction and January Andrews who writes bestselling romance. 

The only few things they have in common are that they both have writer’s block, both are spending the summer at adjacent beach houses, and both are broke. “Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.”

~Support your local and independent book stores by purchasing this title on

Nina Campbell’s Elements of Design

British interior designer, and mother of another talented British interior designer Rita Konig who’s online interior design course I am thoroughly devouring at the moment, Nina Campbell’s interior design guide book is worth taking a look at. Released a couple of years ago, she helps readers “identify how you can work on each element, room by room (from kitchens and bathrooms to dining rooms and drawing rooms), and topic by topic (from lighting to window treatments), she shows you how to create similarly beautiful, stylish interiors in your own home. With today’s return to color and pattern in the home, this book also offers essential advice on choosing and using wallpapers, fabrics, and paint colors.”

British Find

Daylesford Farm’s Archer Wine Glass

Speaking of Rita Konig, as I have been making my way through her interior design course, I learned of a dinnerware shop worth checking out if you live near Gloucestershire. You can also shop online if you live in the UK, as they ship throughout Great Britain (unfortunately, not to the states). Their price points are quite reasonable for quality, timeless items, and it is their glassware that caught my attention. Their current olive hued glasses are temporarily out of stock, but when they restock, they are certainly worth checking out.

Miss Fisher and The Crypt of Tears, the movie (2020)

I have neglected to share with you the new Miss Fisher movie! I viewed it waaaaay back in February or March, loved it and then forgot to put it on my This & That list to post on TSLL. My apologies! Thank you to a TSLL reader for bringing it to my attention two weeks ago when I included Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries. Released this year, Esther (Essie) Davis reprises her beloved role of Phyrne Fisher to wrap up the three seasons of the series she made popular. Set in 1929 Jerusalem, Miss Fisher frees a young girl from her unjust imprisonment and begins to unravel a mystery concerning priceless emeralds, ancient curses and the truth behind the suspicious disappearance of Shirin’s forgotten tribe. Have a look at the trailer below and enjoy!

Willow Crossley’s Flower Course with Create Academy

Another thank you to a TSLL reader for bringing this new class to my attention on Create Academy (the same site that offered Rita Konig’s decor course). Pre-enrollment is taking place now with a 25% reduction in the full cost if you sign up before the end of the month when the course begins. Willow Crossley, as shared in last week’s This & That, is a talented floral designer, and was even tapped to be the royal florist for the evening reception at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding two years ago.


The Fearless Baker: SimpleSecrets for Baking Like a Pro by Erin Jean McDowell

Baking became a favorite past time this past spring for many people, and having a trusted cookbook to explore made it all the more creative and successful. Released in 2017, top food stylist and popular baking columnist Erin McDowell shares how “the key to freedom is to understand the principles behind how ingredients interact and how classic methods work. Once these concepts are mastered, favorite recipes can be altered and personalized almost endlessly. . . . With recipes from flourless cocoa cookies and strawberry-filled popovers (easy), through apple cider pie and black-bottom (medium), to a statuesque layer cake crowned with caramelized popcorn (difficult), and make-ahead sidebars with each recipe, this exciting, carefully curated collection will appeal to beginning and experienced bakers alike.”

The Joys of Baking: Recipes and Stories for a Sweet Life by Samantha Seneviratne

Let’s stay with baking cookbooks for one more worth checking out. Released this past fall, author Samantha Seneviratne offers a cookbook that combines the love for baking with why we bake. “This cookbook focuses on the joys that make up everyday life and 75 ways to bake yourself back up when you feel like you’ve hit the bottom. Each chapter explores one of five themes and provides recipes paired with touching, humorous, and thoughtful essays and beautiful photos throughout.” Discover how to make Chocolate Cardamom Swirl Babka, Strawberry Rhubarb Cake with Bay and Orange, Coffee Crème Bundt Cake (see below) and many more mouth-watering sweet treats.

Francophile Find

Creative Paris: Urban interiors, Inspiring Innovators by My Little Paris

The Francophile favorite blog My Little Paris released a new book last fall taking readers inside thirty-four of their own homes and creative spaces, sharing Paris’s freshest interior inspiration.” Step inside “a relaxed apartment on the edge of the Canal Saint-Martin to see an aquamarine accent wall that complements a vintage fridge and matching coffee mugs–setting the tone with the vibrant hue. Birdcages, vinyl records, and colorful kimonos mingle harmoniously with vintage photographs, dazzling African wax cushions, and contemporary art.” Needless to say, if you are looking for a bit of Parisian decor inspiration, pick up this book tout de suite!

Ceramic ‘Le Petit Gourmet’ vintage pots

Earlier this month I learned of Madame de la Maison. Founded by Ajiri Aki who lives with her family in Paris, and currently is spending time in Provence, if you are looking for unique French decor items for your home and entertaining, search no further. She finds the French antiques and linens at brocantes, shops and other hidden boutique gems, and then offers them to her shoppers online at very fair and reasonable prices. These ceramic ‘Le Petit Gourmet’ vintage pots are just the beginning, and she regularly shares new finds, so be sure to subscribe to her newsletter to be alerted. Madame de la Maison offers much more when it comes to setting the table and decorating the home to create a convivial and celebratory French-living space to gather with loved ones, so be sure to peruse Ajiri’s entire site.


Herbs: Delicious Recipes and Growing Tips to Transform Your Food by Judith Hann

After listening to an episode of Pot & Cloche podcast (as shared in Wednesday’s things that made me smile post) during my drive to Portland this week, I learned of British gardener and expert of herbs Judith Hann. Released in 2017 her highly researched book on herbs – what to grow, how to grow them and how to cook with them – has been receiving critical acclaimed ever since it was released. Needless to say, a copy is on its way to my home, and if you too enjoy cooking with herbs or want to learn how to do more such cooking, this is a book worth keeping on hand.

Lives of Great Gardeners by Stephen Anderton

If you love history, and love gardening, you will want to pick up award-winning garden-writer for The Times Stephen Anderton’s book Lives of Great Gardeners. “The book is organized into four thematic sections. Gardens of Ideas moves from the politically allusive gardens of eighteenth-century England to Charles Jencks’s Scottish garden inspired by twenty-first-century cosmography. Gardens of Straight Lines explores the lives of the great formalist gardeners, from Le Nôtre at Versailles to the rational English minimalism of contemporary designer Christopher Bradley-Hole. Gardens of Curves opens with that great exponent of the English landscape garden, ‘Capability’ Brown, and moves on to the extraordinary Brazilian designer Roberto Burle Marx. Finally, Gardens of Plantsmanship arcs from the father of naturalistic planting, William Robinson, to the sweeping prairie-style of Piet Oudolf.” Travel throughout England, but also to France and Canada and South America. Perhaps a wonderful gift for the gardener in your life as well.


Cheek to Cheek: The Complete Duet Recordings of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

While listening to an episode of Fresh Air with Terry Gross, their music critic recommended and gave high praise for a CD pack that was released in 2018, but certainly not one to forget about even though its debut is not recent. Enjoy all of the many duets Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong sang together. Enjoy on CD or stream wherever you listen to music. I am currently looking for vinyl options, and have yet to find them, but oh, what a treat that would be. Listen to one of their lesser, but still just as lovely, duets below.


—3.1 Phillip Lim Black Tiered printed crepe midi dress (on sale)

Midi length is becoming my favorite length for dresses, and this crepe dress looks to be a lovely evening summer ensemble for a special occasion.

Temperley London Green Gaia belted satin-jacquard wide-leg jumpsuit

Jumpsuits done in luxurious style. This elegant emerald wide-leg jumpsuit would be lovely for a proper occasion not only in summer, but early fall or spring. Add a fantastic sandal heel, one item of statement jewelry and you are set.


Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi

Premiering last weekend, Padma Lakshmi’s new series, which is exclusively on Hulu, takes viewers across the nation to learn about food in a far more intimate and personal way. Have a look at the trailer below and learn more in this profile piece in The New York Times.

~recipe for Strawberry Spritz~

A gorgeous week of summer weather, happy and healthy pups, and much time to tinker about in the garden. In fact, my young neighbors (5 & 7 years old) have been crossing the street in our neighborhood more frequently to say hello to the boys whenever they see me puttering about in the yard but also to look for strawberries in the abundant strawberry patches bursting with red, scrumptious fruit in my borders. It has been fun to spend time with them, and I think Norman and Oscar are enjoying it as well.

This week I hopped over to Portland for the first time in four months, had my first haircut and color in as many months, stocked up on my favorite French butter (see below in my IG post), and moseyed my way home back over the mountain eager to be back at La Papillon. It was a lovely day, but I was also very thankful to be back home. This weekend I will be painting my screen door made by a talented local, and family known artisan that I cannot wait to have hung (it even has a dog door!) and hopefully in the next week or so my contractor will be able to hang it for me (*fingers crossed!*). I look forward to revealing my full garden porch in August during French Week, so do stay tuned. Life is certainly moving along at a slower pace, and I am loving it oh so much. I hope you too are finding a schedule and a pace that is working well for you.

This week, the weekly newsletter is moving to its biweekly deliveries, so look for the next newsletter to be in your inbox next Friday (July 3rd!) and every other Friday for the duration of summer. The monthly delivery will begin in September (the last Friday of every month). I will be sure to share a bit more in the weekly This & That on those weeks (such as this one) in which a newsletter is not being sent out. With that said, I have a handful of articles and posts you might enjoy as well as two videos. Wishing you a lovely weekend, and thank you for stopping by. Bonne journée.

View this post on Instagram

French butter. 🥰🇫🇷❤️🥐 #tsllfrancophilefind

A post shared by Shannon Ables (@thesimplyluxuriouslife) on

~Discover how I came to decide Isigny Ste Mére was my preferred French butter [TSLL 2019 Butter Tasting]

~Hamilton is coming to your living room. Discover how it came to be filmed, and look for it on Disney+ on Friday July 3rd [The New York Times]

~The Fight for Black Lives in France [The New Yorker]

~The power of good breathing on our overall health and how to improve yours [Fresh Air with Terry Gross]

~Yep, exercise is good for us. A new study confirms it saves 4 million lives a year [Well + Good]

~7 Difficult Things You Should Start Doing for the People Around You [Marc & Angel]

~LifeHack Shares 7 Life Priorities to Have

~5 Things to Do When You’ve Got Too Much on Your Plate [Pick the Brain]

~Barcelona’s Opera Opens Exclusively to a House of Plants [Euro News]

~Thank you to a TSLL reader for sharing the video below with me. For my fellow introverts – the quiet power that we have to share with the world.

14 thoughts on “This & That: June 26, 2020

  1. Oh Shannon thank you for the clip on introverts!!!! It describes me for sure!
    And I love the opera in Barcelona, what a unique and beautiful idea!
    You and your pups have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Shannon, your This and That’s never fail! I went straight over to Jamie Beck’s Instagram and she is so talented and delightful! Then of course off to learn more about La Bella Figura and wow, what luxurious sounding products for an affordable price point! I ordered the Illuminating Rose Oil as well as Aromatic Hair Elixir and I can’t wait to try them! (Also note that there is a discount code available to new customers.) Now, off to check out Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears. Thank you so much for the wonderful resources that you continue to share!

    1. Ginger, thank you for the head’s up on the discount code. 🙂 So happy you find items that piqued your interest! I so enjoy bringing this weekly post to readers. 😌 Thank you very much for stopping by and for your comment. 💛

  3. I agree, always so much wonderful ideas to explore from this and that’s!! Thank you, Shannon. I have a cookbook suggestion for you for some British inspiration. Nancy Birtwhistle was a great British bake-off winner who is a joy to follow on Instagram and self published a fantastic book.

  4. Shannon,
    I love Ella and Louis duets, so to read there is a collection of them all is fantastic news! I will search that out now! Thanks Shannon!

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