This & That: September 25, 2020

Sep 25, 2020

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The Great British Baking Show (Bake-Off) has returned, a documentary many readers will enjoy, clothing for fall, music for jazz and classical lovers, a book about a man you may not know, but once you do, you will want to, two films with strong female leads at the helm and so much more.


The Book of Two Ways: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

Released earlier this week, Jodi Picoult’s new novel takes readers on an adventure of a life of two paths. “Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: Prepare for a crash landing. She braces herself as thoughts flash through her mind . . . Dawn, miraculously, survives the crash, but so do all the doubts that have suddenly been raised. She has led a good life. Back in Boston, there is her husband, Brian, their beloved daughter, and her work as a death doula, in which she helps ease the transition between life and death for her clients. But somewhere in Egypt is Wyatt Armstrong, who works as an archaeologist unearthing ancient burial sites, a career Dawn once studied for but was forced to abandon when life suddenly intervened. And now, when it seems that fate is offering her second chances, she is not as sure of the choice she once made.”

Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community by Lady Gaga & Born This Way Foundation Reporters

Already a bestseller, a book full of short stories and essays sharing the significant power of kindness. “The quiet power of kindness can change the way we view one another, our communities, and even ourselves”, and each story exemplies exact how much.

The Planter of Modern Life: Louis Bromfield and the Seeds of a Food Revolution by Stephen Hermann

I recently listened to an interview with the author Stephen Hermann on the Milk Street Radio podcast, and while I would not have picked up the book prior to the interview, once I was introduced to whom Louis Bromfield was, I put it on my reading list. “Louis Bromfield was a World War I ambulance driver, a Paris expat, and a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist as famous in the 1920s as Hemingway or Fitzgerald. But he cashed in his literary success to finance a wild agrarian dream in his native Ohio. The ideas he planted at his utopian experimental farm, Malabar, would inspire America’s first generation of organic farmers and popularize the tenets of environmentalism.”

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

A fun read to escape with this weekend. Just check out the description: “Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves. A female cop with her first big case. A brutal murder. Welcome to…THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB”

British Find

The Great British Baking Show, Season 11 Premiere

It is true!!! Yes, taping began this summer under strict protocols to ensure the competitors, hosts and judges safe health, and the new season just began airing in Britain earlier this week on Channel 4 (BBC) and will premiere here in the states on Netflix today (Friday!). Look for the most recent episode to be available each Friday just three days after it airs in Britain. Unfortunately, Sandy Toksvig is no longer hosting (Matt Lucas will replace her), but everyone else is back. Have a look at the trailer below and ready, set, bake!


Anyon Kenley Tray

I came across this tray while looking for match strikers (Anyon has some lovely brass modern styles), and wanted to share. Large, deep, yet not too deep for a tray, this Kenley tray is a staple offering both beauty and functionality.


Enola Holmes

A tremendous thank you to a TSLL reader for giving me the heads up about this new film starring Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown. It is the film I will be watching this weekend. Have a look at the trailer to learn everything you need to know about what it is all about and view it on Netflix today.

The Glorias

Premiering next Wednesdays on Netflix, The Glorias follows the life of Gloria Steinem. Starring Julianna Moore, Alicia Vikander, Lulu Wilson and Ryan Keira Armstrong as Gloria at various life chapters, this biopic debuted at Sundance earlier this year and “follows Steinem’s journey leading the women’s liberation movement — from her time in India as a young woman and the founding of Ms. magazine in New York to her role in the rise of the women’s rights movement in the Sixties and her leadership during the historic 1977 National Women’s Conference. Along with Steinem, the film pays tribute to several other prominent leaders of the movement, including Dorothy Pitman Hughes (Monáe), Flo Kennedy (Toussaint), Bella Abzug (Midler), Dolores Huerta (Sanchez) and Wilma Mankiller (Guerrero)”. Learn more about the film in The Rolling Stones review here, and check out the trailer below.

Francophile Find

My Stylish French Box, November

Sharon Santoni’s upcoming seasonal box is all about Holiday Chic. Having just received her August box which was full of delights for the kitchen and the home, I cannot recommend more wholeheartedly her French gift boxes full of unique and original French finds. From candles, to antique brooches (I have been wearing my recently), trays, and ceramics made by French artisans, each box will find you smiling and finding new ways to welcome a touch of France into your everyday.

Notre-Dame: Our Lady of Paris documentary

ABC originally aired the two hour documentary spotlighting the dramatic events of April 15, 2019, which shook Paris and Francophiles around the globe as they saw Notre Dame going up in flames. And while I missed it on September 16th when it originally aired, we can still watch it wherever you have ABC streaming. Hulu still has it available, and I have placed the film on my watchlist. I look forward to watching it soon. Read the WSJ’s review of the film.

Un Soir À L’Opera candles

Un Soir à L’Opera all-natural candles offer the scents of the famous operas that are known broadly by even those of us who have never seen the performances in person. Veronique Waldron of Studio Vero here in Bend introduced me to this brand, and I recently brought a candle home. If you live in Bend, look for her to have them available in her shop soon, and you can also order them online as they ship internationally.


Diana Krall: This Dream of You

Being released today, jazz pianist and vocalist Diana Krall’s new album is available. Listen to the first single released from the album in the video below.

Sophie Webber’s Escape: Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello

For my fellow classical music lovers, I learned just this week of Cellist Sophie Webber who resides in California and has an amazing talent with the classic cello suites. Hearing this piece while listening to KUSC caught my ear and made me take note, and upload a few of her suites.


Ba&sh Briane Dress

Simple, black, short-sleeve. A wonderful classic piece for fall.

Missoni Zigzag Scarf

Speaking of fall, scarf season, cozy season nears and Missoni’s zigzags just make me a bit happier.

Pour Les Femmes (Jennifer Aniston’s recent PJs seen on IG)

Upon seeing Jennifer Aniston’s IG pic, I chuckled with appreciation. She keeps it light and comfortable, and reminded why having a good pair of pajamas is a very good idea. The Organic Japanese Cotton Pajamas Set is what she was wearing and be sure to check out Pour Les Femmes entire collection as many sets are reduced (did you know Robin Wright of House of Cards fame is a co-founder?). However, if you are like me and need a long inseam (31″ at least), these may not be the pajamas for you (Pour les Femmes’ inseam is only 28″). But worry not! They have short sets and robes as well.

Serena & Lily Cavallo Linen Pajamas

Soooo, I returned to a favorite that does have a 31″ inseam. I enjoyed Serena & Lily’s blue and white Cavallo linen pajamas last year and wore them so much I wore them out. Now, I am picking up their white set and know it will be the perfect comfort and cozy for the fall and winter season at home.

Sézane’s Fall Collection

Sézane’s new fall collection was recently released, and while some sizes are already gone in some pieces, there are many more still available. From their dresses, to their coats, knits and tops, classic, Parisian chic style abounds. I have shopped a few items below.

Victoria Trench Suede D’Orsay Courts, L.K. Bennett

Sensible in height, classic in hue, and versatile for work or evening. Suede provides a go-to texture for fall, and in a lighter shade such as this camel/nude, a way to elongate the leg as well.

Autumn has begun, and the feeling of cooler temps, some rainfall and the beginning of leaves changing into their evening attire is reason to celebrate. I have been spending time outside in my garden planting new plants, transplanting others and simply putting my hands in the dirt to relax. I love every minute I am outside especially now that smoke has cleared.

I want to thank everyone who stopped by last weekend for the premiere of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen. I could not have imagined such a wonderful kick-off to the new season and reveal of the new kitchen. I am deeply grateful for your time taken to reach out and share what you enjoyed. Look for a new episode tomorrow.

I will keep today’s notes from the editor short as today the free monthly newsletter went out to subscribers. Below are many links, two videos and the start to what I hope will be a wonderful weekend for you and yours. Until tomorrow, bonne journée.

~It’s Time To Revive the Interesting Breakfast [WSJ]

~The passing of Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday held my attention and grieved my heart. PBS Newshour’s segment dedicated to RBG’s Life & Career is worth watching.

~Small Bedroom Ideas [House & Garden UK]

~How to Get Out of a Funk When You’re Stressed Out [LifeHack]

~The Duke & Duchess of Sussex where recently shared this short message about voting.

~10 Ways to Stay Strong Even When Times Are Difficult [Pick the Brain]

~Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Advice for Living [The New York Times, 2016]

~7 Ways to Give Your Home a Cotswold’s Makeover [Country Living UK]

~10 Ideas to Steal from a English Cottage Garden [Gardenista]

~Do you agree? Did Quarantine Kill the Weekend? [The New York Times]

~GBBO Host Prue Leith shares how to cut down on plastic in the kitchen [Country Living UK]

~Slip away to Paris for the autumn season with the video below.

~Beginning on October 1, 2020, a significant change and much anticipated improvements in engagement will be coming to TSLL blog. Only subscribers will be able to view more than five posts a month along with other exclusive content (Shannon’s Home & Garden Tours, Giveaways, Saturday Ponderings, etc.). Learn all about TSLL’s Soft Paywall here.

18 thoughts on “This & That: September 25, 2020

    1. Susan, Great question! I cannot wait to share two posts in October about just these two things: both the entire kitchen remodel and why I chose my stove. ☺️ Both posts will only be available to TOP Tier subscribers, so make sure to subscribe as they are part of the categories that are exclusive regardless of how many articles a reader has read that particular month.

  1. Fabulous Friday content Shannon 😊
    What lovely treats to explore in the This and That and the Newsletter , a great start to my weekend, thank you !
    And another episode from your kitchen tomorrow , for more inspiration.
    Have a wonderful weekend 🦋
    Best wishes from the UK, ( where my county is back in lockdown )

    1. Anne, good morning! And thank you for your cheer this morning! I did hear the news from the UK. Oh my. Well, hopefully this curtails what could have been worse. Thinking of your and all of the country. Wishing you. Lovey weekend and thank you again 😌

    2. Thank you Shannon…….yes, government advice is constantly changing for the UK , but my County, Lancashire , is one of the areas which are now in stricter lockdown than the country generally, as our numbers have risen.
      We are so blessed to have internet and phone connection, so even though we aren’t allowed to meet in our homes and gardens any more , I can still keep in touch with friends and family.
      Life is certainly different !
      Thinking of you , as you prepare for your elections , as well as for a different way of teaching and supporting your students , stay safe and well, Shannon, and thank you for continuing to be a bright light during these changing times.

    1. Michele, if you have purchased a subscription, only the Top Tier has been available thus far, so if you have a username, are logging in and see no ads, you are set! 🙂 email me directly if you have further questions.

  2. I always go to bed on Thursday nights excited for Friday’s This and That, last night especially so because I knew today was newsletter day, to boot.
    Shannon, I think this might just be your best This and That to date (and I’ve been reading for a few years now). So many wonderful things in here; I’m going to have to spend the whole weekend savoring this one.
    The video of Paris touched me especially as it is one year on Tuesday that I went to Paris for the first time in a decade and a half. It’s been on my mind quite a lot these last days and I thank you for providing another layer to my remembering. 🙂
    Bon weekend!

    1. Adrienne, Your words made me smile. I do so hope you enjoy savoring this edition. There was so much to share, I had to tell myself to stop. 🙂 Yes, the documentary is going to one I too am looking forward to, so many memories of a very special place and what a devastating fire. Thankfully, improvements and rebuilding are happening. Wishing you a lovely weekend. xo

  3. Welcome end of week ideas. We all love Friday’s for many reasons and thank you for the Netflix viewing selections. I am often on the search but tend to lose interest and go knit something! This weekend, I will pretend I am baking!

  4. Well Shannon I’ve gone and done it. I’ve waited till the last moment but I’ve just signed up for Top Tier access! I have 3 blogs I’ve been following that were also moving to a subscription system. I couldn’t afford to do them all and yours won. You cover so many things that interest me with travel, lifestyle, cooking , with a woman’s sensitivity, and of course all the Franco/Anglo -phile posts. Can’t wait to see all the new content!

  5. The scenes of Paris in the Fall broke my heart a little bit! I was planning to be in Paris and Burgundy at the end of October for a week-long cooking school. Of course, that trip has since been postponed indefinitely. I truly cannot wait to return one day.

    Thank you for another great week of This & That!

  6. Shannon, the Enola Holmes trailer looks SO good. I will be watching. Your This & That has so many yummy links. I will watch The Glorias later. So many interesting articles. Also thank you for the special on the Top Tier. I’m a subscriber! ☺️

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