This & That: October 2, 2020

Oct 02, 2020

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All sorts of books – novels, stoicism, and the new Pépin cookbook – a new drama series I am absolutely enjoying, clothing for fall, two new podcasts, an exhibit in Paris to visit as well as a new series set in Paris and much more.


How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division by Elif Shafak

A long essay, Elif Shafak’s “How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division” presents her talents, insight and wisdom gained from her long, impressive resume. An award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey, Shafak writes in both Turkish and English, and has published eighteen books, eleven of which are novels. Her work has been translated into 54 languages and her latest novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize; and chosen Blackwell’s Book of the Year. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne’s College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. 

Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

Having read Ryan Holiday’s previous daily meditation book – Daily Stoic – and thoroughly enjoyed it, I excitedly put his latest book, Lives of the Stoics, on my reading list. “Holiday and Hanselman present the fascinating lives of the men and women who strove to live by the timeless Stoic virtues of Courage. Justice. Temperance. Wisdom. Organized in digestible, mini-biographies of all the well-known–and not so well-known–Stoics, this book vividly brings home what Stoicism was like for the people who loved it and lived it, dusting off powerful lessons to be learned from their struggles and successes.” Looks to be a book to read and ponder in our self-reflective times.

The Midnight Library: A Novel by Matt Haig

Released this week, a time traveler piece of fiction that has critics quite pleased, Matt Haig’s novel The Midnight Library tells the story of “a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life.”


Quick & Simple by Jacques Pépin

The beloved and immensely talented and sincerely passionate about French cooking chef, Jacques Pépin has a new cookbook, and it looks to be a wonderful cookbook to have. Released next Tuesday, discover “250 of master chef Jacques Pépin’s classic and timeless recipes for unexpectedly polished and satisfying meals with minimal prep and cleanup” in his Quick & Simple cookbook.


Creekside Farms Japanese Fall Harvest Wreath with Eucalyptus

I recently added a similar wreath to my own door for fall, and I am so glad that I did. It will be a wreath I can use for years, and the subtle seasonal items included in the design make it all the more interesting and lovely.

Francophile Find

Cezanne & the Master Painters: A Dream of Italy exhibit

If you have the opportunity to be in Paris between now and the end of the year, be sure to stop into the Musée Marmottan Monet for an exhibit that was scheduled to be open nearly all year. Featuring nearly sixty masterpieces from leading public and private collections around the world (the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection in Madrid, the Pola Museum in Kanagawa, and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, etc.), slip away to Italy through the paintings of Cezanne and other master painters.

Emily in Paris, Netflix

I wavered back and forth about whether to include the premiere of the new Darren Starr series that premieres on Netflix today – Emily in Paris. Why? First of all, I need and I think many of us need an escape to Paris especially since so many of us cannot visit the country we so love and appreciate for what it has inspired in our own lives. Why I hesitated was due to the lack of believability of the realities presented in the series – from the glamorous high-end clothing and SATC-esque heels that just are not worn on the streets in Paris by sensible Parisiennes to the realities of who Parisienne women actually are and the prepetuation of the myth that is unhelpful to say the least, I just wasn’t as enthusiastic about included it.

However, an escape is not a bad thing if we watch such a series with the realities in mind and a critical eye. Lily Collins is the 21st-century Audrey Hepburn with her doe-eyed stunning beauty and lithe physique. And with an abbreviated fashion month, this will be my fashion fix to fill that void. I plan on watching it, but I am making sure to not be fooled by the realities that persist. Fool-hardy? Perhaps. Needed escapism to France? Yes. Look for season one on Netflix now, and check out the trailer below.


Food, But We Digress

Alex from Alex, the French Guy Cooking YouTube channel has partnered up with his producer of his YouTube channel to offer a new audio podcast. Premiering this past June look for deep-diving and playful conversations about the history of food, the comparison of favorite foods and much more.

The Genius Recipe Tapes

Another food podcast to check out is Food52’s new show which debuted this September – The Genius Recipe Tapes.  Featuring all the uncut gems from the weekly ‘Genius Recipes’ column and video series, host Kristen Miglore speaks to the geniuses behind iconic recipes, and uncovers the recipes that changed the way we cook.


Duchess Blue Seersucker Adult Mask

If you are looking for a mask that works with your style, perhaps you are like me and love stripes. This may just be the mask you are looking for. Offering full coverage over your chin, and for only $15, it isn’t that bad deal of a deal.

A.L.C. Suzy Sailor Top

A classic.

Eberjey ‘Gisele’ Short Pajama Set

Pajamas – long or short are a must in my sleep wardrobe, and the short navy Eberjey set is a classic hue for any time of year.

Loewe White Fringed printed wool, silk and cashmere blend scarf

It’s time to look for and scoop up cozy scarves for the cooler months ahead, and large cashmere-blend scarves are my favorites. This one may be an investment, but scarves live with us forever if they are well made and work with our outerwear wardrobe. This one is unique, yet timeless. I do love it.

Rag & Bone Gray Checked Fringed wool scarf

A classic. Wool, large and cozy. Perfect.

Shirtini Clardige and King Gray Stripe Oxford Shirt Dress

Stripes, subtly so, with a hue that is neutral and wonderful for fall. Pair with a cardigan for cooler moments and look chic, as well as feel comfortable.



I stumbled upon this Danish political drama series in Netflix this past week, and struck gold. Many TSLL readers have already enjoyed all three seasons (the show premiered in 2012 and just made it to Netflix a year or two ago) about an unlikely politician’s rise to Prime Minister and how power changes a prime minister. Watch episode one of season one to discover likeable characters, characters that will make your skin feel a bit – ewww, and an intriguing plot line. Critics have called it the child of West Wing and House of Cards (but not even close to as dark as the latter – well, at least as far as I know). Subtitled in English, I think you might enjoy. Check out the trailer for Season One below.

~recipe for Pear Maple and Pecan Tarte Tatin from Donna Hay~

A stunning fall week was enjoyed these past five days and over the past weekend. The boys and I have been sleeping well as the temperatures drop at night, but wow, do they warm up during the day (low 80s). I have been tending to some seasonal maintenance to ease my mind as the winter season approaches, and just discovered I have a handful of cucumbers and three or four courguettes that may just make it to full maturity before the first frost (yeah!).

This weekend I will be home, and I am thoroughly looking forward to it. The house needs a good clean (windows too) which while not something I enjoy doing all that much, will feel good to complete as the house is done with construction work after a few details were completed this week, and that is a feeling that is quite priceless.

Look for a new cooking show episode tomorrow, and on Monday an interview with a woman I am still pinching myself I had the opportunity to have on the show. Thank you for choosing to stop by the blog, and if you are a TOP Tier subscriber, be sure to check out the first A Cuppa Moments video as the conversation amongst subscribers has been absolutely lovely. I will be sitting down with my own cuppa in a few short hours to respond and engage with everyone, and I just could not be more tickled with all that was shared and the enthusiasm from readers. Thank you to everyone however you are choosing to read and enjoy TSLL in our new chapter. It has been a busy last couple of weeks in preparation, but I am tickled the changes are here.

Below are a handful of articles you might enjoy and a music video to invite us slip away to New York City with lovely fall tunes by the talented Diana Krall. Until tomorrow, bonne journée.

~Monty Don’s October newsletter

~A Minimalist Approach to Social Media [A Considered Life]

Why Education Should Be A Lifelong Process [Pick the Brain]

May Every Woman Find Her Marty Ginsburg [Vogue]

—An long, long, long list of decor inspiration – English Country Bedroom Ideas [House & Garden UK

—Why not write that letter to your loved one or friend or someone who could use it more than you realize – Why Sending Letters During the Pandemic Might Help a Loved One [The Washington Post]

How to Have a Disagreement Like an Adult, According to Deepak Chopra [The New York Times]

~Now that autumn has begun, a song by Diana Krall to put you in a fall, cozy, New York City sort of mood.

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14 thoughts on “This & That: October 2, 2020

  1. Hi Shannon, as a woman in her late 20s and early 30s living in Manhattan when Sex and the City was on TV, I know that not everyone was living the life of Carrie Bradshaw. However I loved watching the show! Looking forward to watching Emily in Paris. I just forwarded the trailer to my daughter and her college roommates. Glad you decided to recommend it to us.

    1. Denise, Thank you for sharing about viewing SATC. The key is to not assume such a life is possible with the snap of our fingers (or at all). 🙂 Such shows are fun to watch. I do hope Emily in Paris has a deeper underlying message as SATC had – for example regarding friendship, adhering to one’s own path regardless of any limitations society might have for women or life “checkboxes”. We’ll see where it goes. It certainly will be fun to see Paris.

  2. Hi Shannon – as a subscriber from Australia I was delighted to see the Pear Tatin from Donna Hay. I have bought many of her cookbooks over the years. Her cooking shows are also fabulous if you’re able to get access to them in the US. Have a fab weekend.

  3. I agree with the Emily in Paris recommendation, wholeheartedly! Who couldn’t use a bit of an escape these days? I’m looking forward to watching : )

  4. Love your input on Emily in Paris! An important perspective. Having watched the first episode, I love the show but totally agree it perpetuates some stereotypes that should not be perpetuated. Definitely worth watching if you can separate illusion from reality 🙂

  5. Always love your This and That. I was just telling my daughter that I am not enjoying Emily in Paris. No judgement if someone does love it. There’s just a few things that popped up in the first two episodes that I feel like we are over…as far as women go. I don’t feel the show holds water in 2020 and I don’t think it’s necessarily something I would like my 18 year old watching. She can…just doesn’t match my values. It is a beautiful show though. I mean…Paris! There isn’t much depth even in the main character which feels like a missed opportunity. But not all things have depth. It’s light and mindless which sometimes is what we are looking for.

  6. The article about education being a lifelong process really struck home for me – it’s something I advocate to everyone, especially because as an adult I find I have a greater appreciation for learning than I did when I was younger. I’ve recently started violin lessons and am taking classes via Coursera and it’s helped elevate my mood and creativity like nothing else!

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