This & That: August 26, 2022
Friday August 26, 2022

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Summer is winding down, and work and school schedules are about to change (if they haven’t already), but there are still a few finds worth exploring before all of the summer goodness turns this fall in so many arenas of entertainment and shopping. A wonderful new book by Frances Mayes, sales on décor and clothing for both summer and fall finds, a new film by Sharon Horgan that highlights the bond and love of sisters, a French series I steam-rolled through and thoroughly enjoyed and still much more.

Books

The Cafe on the Edge of the World: A story about the meaning of life by John Strelecky

Being turned into a movie, John Strelecky’s widely praised book, The Cafe on the Edge of the World, was published a couple of years ago, and if you enjoyed The Alchemist, I have a feeling you will enjoy this book as well.

Picasso’s War: How Modern Art Came to America by Hugh Eakin

Released earlier this summer and critics are praising it for its deep exploration into the the art world and history of how modern art came to America.

A Place in the World: Finding the meaning of home by Frances Mayes

I placed my preorder months ago and was tickled when Frances Mayes’ (author of Under the Tuscan Sun) book arrived this past Tuesday. “Mayes reflects on the idea of home, from the earliest imprint of four walls to the startling discoveries of feeling the strange ease of homes abroad, friends’ homes, and even momentary homes that spark desires for other lives.”

A Woman of Intelligence: A Novel by Karin Tanabe

Chosen as the Best Book of Summer by a handful of entertainment sites, A Woman of Intelligence begins on Fifth Avenue in NYC in 1954 and centers around “Katharina, the daughter of immigrants, Ivy-League-educated, and speaker of four languages. As a single girl in 1940s Manhattan, she is a translator at the newly formed United Nations, devoting her days to her work and the promise of world peace―and her nights to cocktails and the promise of a good time.” Now she finds herself trapped in a gilded cage “desperate to escape the constraints of domesticity. So when she is approached by the FBI and asked to join their ranks as an informant, Katharina seizes the opportunity. A man from her past has become a high-level Soviet spy, but no one has been able to infiltrate his circle. Enter Katharina, the perfect woman for the job.”

Décor

One Kings Lane Collection, 20% off

Looking for a favorite item? Shop One Kings Lane’s collection, of which all items are 20% off now. I have picked a few items below, but be sure to shop all of them in the collection here. No promo code necessary.

Serena & Lily, 30% off all rugs

More sales for the home, and this time it is all about the area rugs, in all shapes and sizes and compositions. I have shopped a few of my favorites below, and while I look forward to updating the area rugs in my living and primary bedroom in the future, I will just bookmark these for now, but oh, am I drawn to a few of them in particular.

SHOP

Films

Bad Sisters, AppleTV+

From Sharon Horgan, who co-created Catastrophe, a film that is both comedic and dramatic, Bad Sisters. Sisters come to the rescue when one of their own is married to a man that is doing her no good and they decide to hasten his demise. The sisters step in to remove him. Have a look at the trailer below and watch it on AppleTV+ today.

Francophile Finds

Speakerine, MHzChoice

I mentioned in Saturday’s post of the 11 shows/series I have enjoyed on MHzChoice this series, Speakerine (Announcer in English), set in the 1960s Paris as De Gaulle is the President of France. The style will remind you of Mad Men, and the sleuthing will remind you a bit of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. I whizzed through the series (only one season) far too quickly, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Shopping

Banana Republic, End of Summer Sale, up to 70% off

So much linen is on sale and available now at crazy, low prices. From blazers, jackets, dresses and more, even this zebra print linen midi dress. I have shopped a few items below, but shop the entire sale here and scoop up items that will be ready to wear when spring and summer arrive next year or even to finish out this summer season in über style.

—SHOP

Barbour Travel Dog Harness (multiple sizes)

Safety upgrade at our house and vehicle, and Norman is getting a new harness for his seatbelt while in the car. Of course, I wanted to find one that looked as good as it functioned, and found this one from British clothing company Barbour. It is not available until October, but will be worth the wait. There are different colors and styles as well, and comes in three different sizes.

Cloud Zuma Tea, stripe, Faherty (more colors), exclusive 20% off promo

Use promo code SOPHISTICATE to save 20% off this everyday classic tee (available in other stripe combinations and solids), and enjoy layering it with your other fall capsule wardrobe items.

J.Crew 30% off your entire purchase, Summer-to-Fall Sale

The end of summer sales are still happening, and many clothing companies are trying to unload their stock as they have too much, which means drastic discounts on many, many styles and sizes. J.Crew is one such company (so too is Banana Republic above). Use promo code PASSPORT and save 30% as you pick up your next fall capsule wardrobe finds. I have shopped a few items below, but be sure to check out the entire site.

Linjer.co, sustainable fine jewelry

Shop classic, simple gold jewelry, sustainably made and wearable year-round for many years to come.

—Net-a-porter, Extra 15% off sale

While on Thursday September 1st, I will be posting my Annual TSLL Fall Shopping Guide here on the blog, Net-a-Porter’s Final Sale for this past summer sale is worth shopping as many items that were already reduced are reduced even further. Be sure to check out Co’s Tall Leather Knee Boots (see below) and use promo code FINAL15 to save an additional 15% off the sale price. And if you are looking for a fall and winter puff coat/jacket with style, Rag & Bone’s army green Rudy belted quilted shell down coat (already 60% off) is reduced further – 15% off – with promo code FINAL15 (all sizes available except Small at the time of posting).

Ralph Lauren, Polo Cable-Knit Cashmere Sweater, Cream

Love this classic sweater. A keeper for years to come in the fall and winter capsule wardrobe.


Captured above is a moment taken just after all of the carpets and rugs in the house had been cleaned (shhh . . . for the first time since 2019 – I know!). Needless to say, the house feels lighter, refreshed, renewed, [any other synonym that means clean and making me very happy ☺️]. As I shared in Monday’s Motivational post – 11 Tasks to Ready Yourself for a Lovely La Rentrée and an Enjoyable Everyday Pace of Life, I have been eager to clean the carpets since the final construction projects wrapped up in the house this past January (see them all here), and it has taken me until now to finally get it done. But it is done, and I am always amazed by how much better everything seems to feel, and how I am energized for a new start with the new season.

chairinbathroom

Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the carpets to dry, but I do not mind a bit (thus the primary bedroom tulip chair resting in the primary bathroom temporarily – see the photo to the right).

Become a TOP Tier Member and tour the entire primary bathroom and primary bedroom (where this chair will eventually return ☺️)

Along with Monday’s post, on Wednesday, the Reading Nook (captured above in the first photo) was shared in detail as the new curtains were installed earlier this month. Explore becoming a TOP Tier Member to see the Before, After, my Objectives for this space and my thought process as to why I designed this space the way I did along with all of the sourcing for each of the items from furniture, fabric and other accessories.

The ‘cleaning’ continued this week as the exterior of my home at Le Papillon beckoned. One evening I stepped outside with my hedge clippers meaning to just start cutting back the lavender, and before I knew it, three hours had passed, all 14+ lavender plants had been tended to plus a few of my evergreen shrubs, and oh my did it feel good to do and to complete. My sweet young neighbor (going to start 2nd grade this fall), came out after he had eaten dinner at about 7:30pm and said, “Shannon, you’re still out here?” (as he had chatted with me earlier sharing with me one of his toys and generally just chatted with me and pet Norman while I was in the garden). When I finally finished, I said bonne nuit to him, and shared that I would be going inside to enjoy a good cold glass of water. The young boy thought that was a grand idea and said good evening in return whilst he continued to roll about on his scooter in the cool summer air. 😌

Speaking of summer, my sunflowers continue to share their sunshine, and this ProCut Gold Lite varietal is quickly becoming one of my favorites along with the Panache that was seen in earlier pics this month on the blog. These sunflowers are smaller – only about three feet in height with blooms that are 4-6 inches in diameter as you can see in the image above, but their all yellow center and gently rounded petals add a softness to the traditional sunflower seen most frequently. I usually buy a couple seed packets of different sunflowers each year, plant them out directly in early May, and in late August and into September sunflowers abound in the garden. Here is a link to these on Johnny’s Seeds (fewer than $5).

The weekend ahead looks to be a weekend of sprucing up the house for September’s arrival because I am so looking forward to what really always feels to me, a fresh start, and this year is no different and perhaps especially moreso. So yep, Norman and I will be staying home aside from our walks and/or paddles, and spending time reading Frances Mayes new book that is receiving great praise and maybe stopping by the local farmers’ market to pick up fresh fruit for a plum crumble I just saw Nigella make on an episode of Nigellissima. And as the new week begins, I will be making sure to watch the US Open and cheering Serena Williams on every single swing of her racket as she steps onto the grand slam court for the final time. I cannot believe I am writing those words.

The week ahead will be a busy one on TSLL blog as the annual Fall Shopping Guide will be posted on September 1st, as will the monthly A Cuppa Moments video chat with TOP Tier Members along with the regular weekly postings. Look for the trailer of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen cooking show to be shared next week as September 10th is oh so close (follow along on IG @tsllcookingshow for only posts related to my kitchen and the cooking show series). Until then, I have gathered up some articles and one video you might enjoy. Thank you very much for stopping by today and until tomorrow when the monthly Saturday Ponderings . … post will be shared, bonne journée!

~I took a deep breath of relaxation when I read through this garden tour in Oxfordshire. Perhaps you will as well – Bruin Abbey Gardens [H & G UK]

~If you too love to treasure hunt at antique fairs, boutique and well, any shop that may just contain something that would be quite ideal for your sanctuary, read Rita Konig’s guide for how to do so successfully [House & Garden UK]

~TSLL’s Annual French Week may have just concluded last week, but when a TSLL reader shared this post with me, I wanted to pass it along to you to enjoy as well – How to Live the French Lifestyle [Leonce Chenal]

~Wondering what to do with all of the courgettes (zucchini) you have or have found at the market? Try this Courgette & Pine Nut Tart [H & G UK]

~I happened upon this segment on Marie Forleo and found many of the tips worth considering – Managing stress: the secret to finding more happiness no matter what the circumstances.

~Clues that you might not be trying hard enough [Seth Godin]

~I grew up in a lovely corner of Oregon, nestled against what we and visitors call the Mini Swiss Alps, and this gondola, The Wallowa Lake Tramway, takes you to the top to take in gorgeous views. The price is worth it. I have ridden up quite a few times over the decades, and it never ceases to delight me. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend. [Bend Bulletin]

~Passport renewal just became a bit easier – online renewal now available! [Travel + Leisure]

~La Rentrée in France means so much more than back to school [The Local, subscription required]

~How to make a salad mindfully [Saveur]

~Curate a polished autumn wardrobe in 8 Simple Steps [British Vogue]

~10 ways to make your bedroom cozy [Homes & Gardens UK]

~Top coastal beauty spots in Britain [Britain magazine]

~A wonderful video to watch for inspiration for elevating your everyday wardrobe as we look ahead to the fall shopping season . . .


~Catch up on last week’s This & That: August 19, 2022 – French Week

Bonjour! Three collages had to be created this week to fit all that is in this year’s French Week This & Thatbecause I have a loooooong list of books, all pertaining to something about France whether in memoir form, novel form or for the cook and so many other topics of interest. A new film that plays with the plot of a famous French novel written in the 19th century, a new Maison line from a Provençal brand, if you adore Monet, you are in luck with all of the different books inspired by his gardens at Giverny, and clothing finds from French brands as well. Plus! Yep, so much 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.

13 thoughts on “This & That: August 26, 2022

  1. Good morning Shannon Thank you for today’s post, so much of interest and books added to the wish list. It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK and I have my French daughter in law and Granddaughter visiting. We’re off to stay with my Daughter for a few days so life is good. Enjoy the weekend everyone, best wishes, Sue, England.

    1. Sounds to me like you have great plans! Enjoy these waning days of Summer, I cannot believe that we are at the end of August already. Best wishes to you as well.

    2. Have a lovely time Sue .
      It is such a pleasure to have family members all together isn’t it, especially if some of them live abroad .
      Spontaneous ‘get togethers ‘can’t happen very easily when visits have to be planned in advance, but are all the more precious when they do happen !
      x Anne x

  2. It’s early Friday morning, and I have already marked items from your list for my weekend relaxing and luxurious perusal. Bad Sisters caught my fancy — what a great trailer! I am intrigued by A Woman of Intelligence (love the play on words there!), and I feel I *need* to read A Place in the World. One part of the quote about it resonated with me immediately; I have found at different times that temporary “homes” awakened a sense of living a different life, even for just a while. Our flat in London, where we stayed for a little over a week, is one. The tube stop was Notting Hill Gate, and from our small balcony we could hear and catch glimpses of (between the other buildings) children playing football on the field at the Holland Park school. A pub was right across the road, a wine shop a few steps further, and at the bottom of the road were handy shops and restaurants. We loved it!

    1. I thoroughly enjoy your statement about how even a temporary home can invoke the sense of a new home or a different way to live when we return to our permanent homes. I agree. Even the little things like a statement lampshade in a living space or a cozy throw draped over the end of a bed for those afternoon naps. Have a lovely weekend, intelligent women try to do that!

  3. Hi Shannon, I always find each This & That enjoyable. Re: Books. Usually, I find books at the library. I often will buy several titles that I’ll read over and over. F. Mayes’ books are a keepsake! Several days ago when you gave a tour of your nook, one addition to your bookcase caught my eye! Thank you. I’d been using a small flashlight to hunt for a book. Take care & God bless you for feeding my mind. — Teresa

    1. Thank you for stopping by and happy to share more titles! 🙂 Books are such a source of nourishment and exploration. Tickled you found a title on my shelf that caught your eye. Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Another very informative this and that Shannon. A long-time Frances Mayes fan, I have ordered her new book, anxiously waiting. What often resonates with me about her perspective is that her homes all make one feel “at home.” Much like a haven built over time and curated for the way they live. Your space is much like this. Living in the home, getting to know it, and understanding just how it can best comfort and provide that respite you require. Your most recent addition of the curtains defines that.
    So much to read and watch this week, and more notes for my Shannon journal! Have a lovely and restful weekend. Your content gets better and better, thank you.

    1. Thank you for stopping by. What you shared about Frances Mayes is spot on. I have only read the first two chapters, but already you have nailed it. She has a beautiful way of creating a space of comfort and peace and conveys it beautifully to the reader. It is amazing and inspiring what she has done throughout her explorations and homes, especially her home in Tuscany. 🙂 Your words are too kind and I thank you. Wishing you a lovely weekend as well!

  5. I was delighted to be in Rakestraw Books In Danville, CA last Tuesday afternoon, and Frances Mayes book was on the front counter. I immediately purchased it, and the book store manager asked me if I would like to sign up to be on a zoom call that Ms Mayes was doing on Saturday morning. YES! She was being interviewed about her new book A Place in The World. It was special to see her in her Tuscany home and hear her speak about finding the meaning of home. I will be diving into her book today. Have a great week Shannon. Xx

  6. I read Under the Tuscan Sun for the first time earlier this year, and was carried away to Italy by Frances Mayes words. So much so I bookmarked the remainder of her books to read and enjoy.
    Bad Sisters looks a fun watch, I love Sharon Horgan’s dry and sharp comedy.
    Those black boots 😍 and the British Vogue article and the video have caught my eye to catch up on.
    Thank you again for so much to read and enjoy,
    Sarah

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