This & That: September 23, 2022
Friday September 23, 2022

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As autumn is now upon us, the new books of comfort and strong reviews are arriving as well, and I have so many this week in a variety of genres. Also, a new, much anticipated bio-pic on a history making actor, a new French series I am quite enjoying for its unexpected twists and turns and always each episode concluding in an uplifting, yet grounding ending, a clothing sale at a TSLL favorite British clothing house, gardening and decor finds, the new flat that is becoming a favorite among stylists and still, much more.

Books

The Complicities by Stacey D’Erasmo

Released this past Tuesday, strong positive reviews have been shared for Award-winning author Stacey D’Erasmo novel The Complicities. The novel “tells a haunting and emotionally affecting story about a woman trying to rebuild her life after her husband’s arrest, and what she knew—or pretended not to know— about where their family’s money came from.” 

Mindful Moments: To Nourish Your Body and Soul by Deepak Chopra

I happened upon this new book by Deepak Chopra, released this past spring, after learning about his wildly popular book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success (2008), and thought it would be a worthwhile book to have at the ready to read one or two pages each day to help set an intention, focus or frame of mind. Below is one page, an example of quotes from Chopra to ponder.

Shrines of Gaiety: A Novel by Kate Atkinson

Another novel receiving strong positive reviews and being released this coming Tuesday is Kate Atkinson’s Shrines of Gaiety. Set in 1926 London, amongst the new night life that is roaring in Soho, “the notorious queen of this glittering world is Nellie Coker, ruthless but also ambitious to advance her six children, including the enigmatic eldest, Niven, whose character has been forged in the crucible of the Somme. But success breeds enemies, and Nellie’s empire faces threats from without and within. For beneath the dazzle of Soho’s gaiety, there is a dark underbelly, a world in which it is all too easy to become lost.”

The Visible Man: A Memoir by Edward Enninful

The editor of British Vogue magazine is Edward Einninful, who became the first black editor-in-chief of the well-known magazine. “And it is his putting first responders, octogenarians or civil rights activists on the cover of Vogue, or championing designers and photographers of colour, that has cemented his status as one of his world’s most important changemakers . . . A Visible Man traces an astonishing journey into one of the world’s most exclusive industries. Edward candidly shares how as a Black, gay, working-class refugee, he found in fashion not only a home, but the freedom to share with people the world as he saw it.” Yesterday I had a chance to listen to Enninful’s interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air, and I knew I wanted to share his new book with TSLL readers after listening.

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr. Julie Smith

Growing a large following on social media during the pandemic, Dr. Julie Smith‘s first book was released this past January, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? Prioritizing mental health as just as important as physical health, Smith “tackles everyday issues and offers practical solutions in bite-sized, easy-to-digest entries which make it easy to quickly find specific information and guidance . . . teaching you how to fortify and maintain your mental health, even in the most trying of times, Dr Julie Smith’s expert advice and powerful coping techniques will help you stay resilient, whether you want to manage anxiety, deal with criticism, cope with depression, build self-confidence, find motivation, or learn to forgive yourself.” 

DR JULIE AMAZON A+_13

British Finds

Apothecary Clear Vase, Sophie Conran

A handful of years ago I purchased an apothecary vase from Sophie Conrad’s online shop, and absolutely loved its everyday style, yet large capacity to hold branches, thick stemmed sunflowers and an abundance of foliage. For an affordable price, these vases (two sizes are still available) are ones that will stay in style to decorate the interior of your home for years.

Marple: Twelve New Mysteries by Agatha Christie (and 12 new authors)

Just in time for cosying-in and reading, released on September 13th, Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple from St. Mary Mead “returns to solve twelve baffling cases in this brand-new collection, penned by a host of acclaimed authors skilled in the fine art of mystery and murder . . . Plots include “a Christmas dinner is interrupted by unexpected guests; the Broadway stage in New York City is set for a dangerous improvisation; bad omens surround an untimely death aboard a cruise ship to Hong Kong; and a bestselling writer on holiday in Italy is caught in a nefarious plot.” Oh, I think I will be enjoying this book later this fall! ☺️ 

Cookbooks

The Last Bite: A Whole New Approach to Making Desserts Through the Year by Anna Higham

Become a student of the creating of truly flavorful desserts with Anna Higham’s new book released this past June, The Last Bite. “A comprehensive guide to modern desserts that teaches you how to cook, create, structure, and season sweet dishes—and ultimately how to really understand dessert making. Exploring ingredients season by season, Anna outlines a repertoire of ways to cook each one to magnify flavor and taste. She shows you how to work with fruit; construct a dessert; and examine seasoning, structure, and texture—helping you really understand the “how” and “why” of dessert cooking.” The amount of detail this book shares beyond just solely sharing recipes is what caught my eye and perhaps yours as well.

Décor

Loom & Table Custom luxury linens

I had the opportunity to peruse and then welcome one of Loom & Table’s tablecloths into my home, and if you are looking for a very particular size of tablecloth and a particular amount of fabric for the drop, this is the online shop for you because you get to choose and design your own. Being able to customize to the inch and style your tablecloth in the fabric you choose makes this brand worth looking into. I have included three tablecloths below in a similar color, but there are many colors, textures and fabrics. Most are timeless with subtle prints if any print at all, and for the opportunity to purchase a linen that is made for your home, the price is quite reasonable. Napkins and table runners are also available.

Films

Sidney, AppleTV+

Being released this Friday after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, is the documentary titled Sidney. Produced by Oprah Winfrey and directed by Reginald Hudlin, the film is a portrait of the life and legacy of actor Sidney Poitier sharing the real life story of Poitier, the Oscar winner of 1964. Have a look at the trailer below.

Francophile Finds

Gateau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano 

I have had the delicious opportunity to review Aleksandra Crapanzano’s new cookbook Gateau, and it is indeed a book to have if you are a baker or simply love to explore both classic and modern French cake recipes. Beautifully designed and most importantly, full of oodles of recipes and details along with lovely illustrations, explore the “James Beard Award–winning writer Aleksandra Crapanzano’s wisdom as she shares the secrets of the cakes Parisians bake at home: the gâteau in its many splendors from the simplest yogurt cakes to deceptively easy bûches de Noël, from nut tortes to boozy flourless chocolate cakes, from yuzu madeleines to rum-soaked babas.”

I have included a few pics from my own book below along with the press release images: 

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The Law of . . . , MHzChoice

As I shared during TSLL’s Annual French Week last month, MHzChoice is the streaming service to have if you enjoy watching foreign language shows from a variety of countries. Of course, French language series grab my attention, and so I was curious to explore a newly released series on the streaming platform The Law of . . . And after watching now seven episodes, I am recommending it to you. The premise follows a criminal defense lawyer for three episodes, an arc of sorts, and then for the next three episodes, it will be an entirely different lawyer who is the lead. I actually quite like this format, as it is similar to the series Murder In . . . where you don’t get too attached to the main characters, but you do enjoy them immensely. The cases they are given are not straight-forward, but they appear to be so initially. The writing is thoughtfully creative, and the endings, well, I won’t be giving anything away if I tell you, their client is always innocent, but it is hard to believe it is possible for quite some time in some cases.

This series is most akin to a cosy mystery series, because you don’t become attached to the victim, and there is little violence and all that might go along with that portrayal. Again, it is the relationships, the setting, the story-telling that keeps you engaged and on your toes. A new episode is released each Tuesday, and seven episodes are currently available. Have a look at a brief trailer below sharing the first lawyer that is the lead in the first three episodes, Barbara (who I liked tremendously).

Garden

The Ultimate Flower Gardener’s Guide: How to Combine Shape, Color and Texture to Create the Garden of Your Dreams by Jenny Rose Carey

As fall is now here, gardeners still have much to do, but soon, winter will be upon us and planning for the new year will be underway, well, it actually already is, isn’t it? ☺️ Jenny Rose Carey’s new book was just released this past July, and is a resource to have if you are looking to enhance the flower power in your garden. I have shared a pic of the Contents below to give you an idea of what you will find inside.

Shopping

Bottega Venetta sand almond leather ankle boots, 40% off (black also available)

Such a great price reduction on a quality pair of booties and many sizes still available, I didn’t want you to miss out.

Everlane, The Italian Leather Day Glove Flat (many colors)

These flats have become quite popular with the fashion cogniscienti (aka as ‘those who know’ fashion), for their comfort, craftsmanship and versatility. There are oodles of colors available and at such a great price, if they have caught your eye, be sure to explore further.

Reiss Sale

In tomorrow’s episode of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen, the green dress you see below will be worn, and the reason I share this tidbit is because if it speaks to your style preferences, I have good news – it is on sale. ☺️ Along with many other items at Reiss, I scooped up one of their midi skirts I have had my eye on for the past month or so and just barely missed out on a linen shirt dress as it moved too quickly for me. Argh!

I have shopped a few other items for you below, but be sure to shop the site directly to find what might just be the perfect addition to your Capsule Wardrobe.

SHOP MORE FINDS

Totême beige striped merino wool turtleneck sweater (black stripes also available)

Creative and cosy stripes, this sweater ticks both boxes.


One morning this past week while it gently rained, I sat out on my garden porch and enjoyed my breakfast. A unique opportunity as it was warm enough, and the rain was falling, not blowing, so I wanted to take advantage of it and I was so glad I did. It was lovely. 😌 Norman joined me and as the sun awoke, the sunrise, for just a moment, created a deep pink, almost soft lavender hue, on the horizon. Breath-taking.

dahliagardenbouquet22

This week in the garden, new roses were planted as I shared in the annual garden reflection post earlier this week, and I picked the flowers you see in these images, primarily dahlias, but a few other lovelies to make a simple bouquet for the house that just makes me smile each time I see it. The Dahlias have arrived! I have so longed for their blooms and cannot wait to welcome them back next year.

This past week has been a regular week in the sense of work, which I so love being able to experience and am savoring every day. What made it even more wonderful was the opportunity to take my French language class (via Zoom). For nearly four hours this week, I dove in with six other students from around the country and began learning what I have been wanting to know for over twenty years – how to correctly pronounce the letter ‘y’! I kid, but not really. This seemingly simple, but oh-not-really bit of information was something I was giddy to finally understand. Along with the proper pronunciation of the entire alphabet, the pronunciation of the accent punctuation marks (aigu [é] and grave [à]), how and when they are used and why circumflexes [ô] are used. While I have taken high level classes in the past, I chose to start at the beginning as I felt I had missed some crucial instruction by jumping ahead, and indeed I did! Needless to say, I am grateful for this opportunity and am determined to make the most of it. 😌

This past week on TSLL blog was a full one of content for all sorts of interests: from the French inspired recipe shared in Saturday’s episode of the cooking show, a new episode of the podcast sharing how to create the possibility for today to be the best day of your life, a detailed tour of my garden here at Le Papillon, and if you are looking for a post to usher you well into fall, be sure to check out my doubly long 15 September Ponderings . . . post (explore becoming a TOP Tier Member to read this post). In this regular monthly post discover finds in clothing, décor, articles, books, shows and first-hand skincare recommendations that are not shared anywhere else. In many ways the Ponderings . . . post is an additional This & That post, and it has been shared each month for the past three years. And the week isn’t done yet! Tomorrow will be the third episode of the cooking show for the new season, and I will be sharing a tour of my épicerie, a video peek into a favorite Parisian bookshop and Norman and I will step out into the garden to harvest an ingredient that is the star of the show. Be sure to stop by.

How was your week and these final few days of summer? Hopefully you are stepping into the new season, whether it is autumn or spring (for my Southern Hemisphere readers), and are ready to shift gears, grateful for the season that has concluded and excited for what is to come. I want to wish a happy Rosh Hashanah for those celebrating the Jewish new year in the coming week, and wish everyone a wonderful upcoming weekend. I have gathered a few articles and posts you might enjoy below, and until tomorrow, bonne journée.

~How walking has the potential to change your life for the better (and we’re not just talking physical benefits) [NYTimes]

~The 7 most charming streets in Paris [Frenchly]

~If you have a dog who is 2-3 years old or younger, I highly recommend reading this to understand how indeed dogs go through adolescence and our patience is needed [NYTimes]

~Cosy cottages in the UK available to rent for your next vacation getaway on Airbnb [House & Garden UK]

~The first table reads for Season 2 of And Just Like That have begun! [SJP’s IG account]

~Take a tour of illustrator and fashion collector Jenny Walton’s Milan apartment full of vintage finds. [IstDibs]

~How to qualify to be a French citizen in five years or fewer [The Local, membership required]

~For weekend listening, fellow Francophiles – Oliver Gee of The Earful Tower created this playlist, one song for each of the 20 Paris arrondissements.

~A short reminder of the power of No and how we often get in the habit of saying the opposite to our detriment – Marie Forleo has some simple advice to help.

~If you are growing dahlias in your garden, be sure to read this post by Middle-Sized GardensDon’t dig up your dahlias for winter! What?

~And on the subject of dahlias, as they have been on my mind as of late quite a bit – Top tips for growing and cutting them [The English Garden]

~Yep, a sequel is coming! To what you may be asking? 🙂 Following the success of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out film in 2019, a second film will be released on December 23rd (I will be sure to include the film in a future This & That when the date is nearer as a reminder to go and enjoy!). Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery has been receiving strong reviews as it debuted just this past week at the Toronto Film Festival. Have a look at the trailer below.


~Explore last week’s This & That: September 16, 2022

Oh my, the autumn season of entertainment begins, and that means this week’s This & That is FULL! Viola Davis stars in a film that tells a true story not to be missed, a light-hearted, farcical caper film set in mid-20th century London with an all-star cast, books about travel and why we love it so, a third book in a much-enjoyed caper series, vintage French finds from a friend of TSLL who calls south France their home!, tips for decorating with white through the seasons from the expert on the subject, three fall capsule wardrobe stellar finds and one summer beauty that is 50% off from a trusted British brand, a handy and sturdy tool for gardeners, an award-winning comedy series returns as does a new series that may just get you laughing based on the veteran cast, and still, there is more! 

~Please note: TSLL is supported by you, readers who take the time to stop by (merci!), peruse and sometimes welcome into your life mentioned and recommended finds. Affiliate links are present in today’s post and may earn commissions for TSLL when you purchase. View TSLL’s full Privacy Policy here.

6 thoughts on “This & That: September 23, 2022

  1. A jam-packed T&T this week Shannon! What is catching my eye? The Complicities, Shrines of Gaiety, Sidney (how moving and inspirational this documentary looks), Gateau! I think this French baking book my compliment Dominique Ansel’s book that you have previously recommended, as I try to improve my patisserie skills 😅
    The Reiss sale is one to check out – I love their clothes, and having seen the thumbnail for the latest episode I was wondering where this lovely green top (now I know dress) was from.
    I look forward to catching up with TSLK and the articles shared later today 🙂
    Sarah

    1. Thank you for stopping by Sarah. 😌 Ah yes! Those two books on pastry are a great pair! Great memory. The yogurt cake I made from this book was scrumptious! And so simple. I do hope you find something in the Reiss sale, some wonderful reductions in prices. Have a lovely Sunday and bonne journée.

  2. Thanks, Shannon! 🙂

    What caught my eye:
    -Shrines of Gaiety
    -The Visible Man
    -Emilie Midi Dress
    -Knives Out.

    Will listen this afternoon to the French songs – and on that note, all the best for your French lessons!

    Many pats to Norman, and a great week! 🙂

  3. Loved the strawberry tart recipe video! And, it was so cute that Norman was searching for his perfect berry, too. It looked delicious! I am not typically a ‘baker’ when in the kitchen, but am going to start trying new things, thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Alicia,

      Thank you for watching this episode. Have fun trying new combinations, and the book really does settle your confidence that certain pairings are worth trying as you know why they will work well together! 🙂

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