This & That: August 4, 2023
Friday August 4, 2023

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A new French and English jazz album from a favorite band is released, the return of a wonderfully fun, caper series, summer clothing finds, a new film starring Jon Hamm that looks to bring the comedy along with the dark side of such a genre, books to relax with while you continue to enjoy your summer plans, books to deepen your quality of life and books to give you helpful skills for knowing how to be part of an engaging conversation. As well, clothing to consider as we look ahead to fall and still much more.

Books

The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh

Last year, one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s many books, How to Love, was chosen as a Petit Plaisir, so it will not surprise anyone that another one of his books is being shared here today. The Art of Living, released a handful of years ago, “presents, for the first time, seven transformative meditations that open up new perspectives on our lives, our relationships and our interconnectedness with the world around us. Based on the last full talks before his sudden hospitalization, and drawing on intimate examples from his own life, Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how these seven meditations can free us to live a happy, peaceful and active life, and face aging and dying with curiosity and joy and without fear.”

High Time: A Novel by Hannah Rothschild

Highly anticipated, and a perfect summer read, released on July 11th, Hannah Rothchild’s second novel detailing the lives of the Trelawney family in Britain. High Time looks to be just as engrossing as the first novel that introduced readers to the eccentric family. Now, the year is 2016, “in the months leading up to the Brexit referendum, Ayesha, the beautiful, young secret daughter of the late Enyon Trelawney, has married the much older thuggish banker Tomlinson Sleet with whom she has a young daughter, Stella. Ayesha is busy restoring the once broken-down Trelawney Castle in Cornwall, which Sleet has bought, to its former glory, as well as studying art at the Courtauld in London. The elderly Countess Clarissa—still ensconced on the property—the host of a camp television show, is about to head into a disastrous marriage. Lady Jane has separated from the hopeless Trelawney heir Kitto, who is crazier than ever, and found an enlightened woman to keep her company abroad. Sleet is becoming increasingly difficult, distracted by the seductive and ruthless bitcoin goddess Zamora, but Kitto’s sister Blaze and her husband, Joshua, will support Ayesha’s clever plan as she discovers shocking secrets, takes action, and brings the family together.”

Improve Your Conversations: Think on your feet, witty banter, and always know what to say with improv comedy techniques by Patrick King

As a social skills coach and an internationally bestselling author, Patrick King teaches the “rules of improv comedy that allow performers to turn boring prompts into memorable interactions worthy of standing ovations” to be utilized in our everyday life to help engage in meaningful, enjoyable and endearing conversation based on the situation and those you are talking with. “This means there are real frameworks and templates to escape interview mode small talk – and start connecting and building rapport from the moment you say ‘Hello.’ This book goes through over 15 of the most helpful and insightful improv comedy techniques with countless real-life examples to make you a great talker.”

Tom Lake: A Novel by Ann Patchett

Story-telling of thought-provoking everyday family life like only Ann Patchett can do, her latest novel, Tom Lake, released this past Tuesday, is set in the spring of 2020. “Lara’s three daughters return to the family’s orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.”

British Finds

Me + Em Herringbone Cap (two colors)

Fall is coming, and one accessory I am realizing would be used often especially in early fall and early spring is a great ball cap that is as functional for protecting the face and the eyes from the sun as it is stylish. Me + Em’s herringbone cap in camel is on my wishlist as it would pair well with many of my outfits that take me outdoors for a while or a moment. They also have grey herringbone if that fits better with your wardrobe.

Sarah Raven Round Bird Feeder

The birds continue to bring smiles whenever I am toodling about in my garden, and when I saw this unique bird feeder I wanted to share. Capable of holding a variety of different types of feed, place where you can enjoy the congregation of birds and sit back as they dine. I have a feeling many smiles will arise. 🙂

Film

Corner Office

A selection for the 2022 Tribeca Film festival, Jon Hamm stars in Corner Office, a dark comedy threaded with an intriguing mystery to solve: What is the corner office all about and why is there denial of its existence? Hamm’s character dares to solve the mystery and the plot begins to unfold. If you enjoyed the original comedy The Office, I have a feeling you will enjoy this witty film. Released today. And Jon Hamm with a mustache? Yep, that may be worth going to watch it all on its own. Maybe. 😉

Francophile Find

C’est La Vie, The Hot Sardines new album

Today is the day! Release day for a Jazz band that taps into the classic jazz that is beloved, pulling from French classics as well as more well-known in English as well, and adds a touch of modern spice. I had the chance to preview this entire album a couple of weeks ago, and LOVE it. With songs in both French and English, some original, some covers of classics – La Vie en Rose, Moon River, and many covers of French jazz songs from the 1930s and 40s, if you love jazz, love French café music, I think you will quite enjoy their new album.

AND, lead singer Elizabeth Bourgerol, a friend of The Simple Sophisticate podcast (listen to our first conversation together here – #157) will be the guest of the podcast during our upcoming French Week, so do tune in to episode #363 which will air on Wednesday August 16th where she will talk about the album, growing up in France and much more.

Have a listen to the first track on the album, “J’attendrai” (I will wait), a French song originally written and performed in 1938.

Shopping

J.Crew A-Line Shirt Dress in stretch Poplin

We still have much more time to enjoy summer, and dressing well, yet comfortably, is a must. This A-line dress, paired with a simple belt will fit the bill nicely.

Morgan Lane Tommy Satin pajama set, 50% off

Looking for chic, yet timeless satin pajamas? Morgan Lane’s Tommy pajama set is 50% off and looks to be quite cozy and perfect for the upcoming fall and winter season.

Reiss Campbell Long-sleeve Linen Shirt (multiple colors)

Summer and linen. I likely sound like a broken record, but having linen button-up shirts is a must-have in my summer wardrobe as I pair them with so many different things depending upon the occasion and always know I will be comfortable, yet pulled together. AND if there are a few wrinkles, that is just fine because that is what linen does naturally and looks good when it does.

Rejuvenation Leather Open Weave Basket (three colors), limited-time discount

Adding a touch of style to items we want to store but keep easily accessible or in plain sight in our homes is a good idea, but sometimes it can be hard to find the right storage item. I was drawn to these baskets currently available at Rejuvenation, and with $20 off the original price are worth taking a closer look.

Rothy’s Lace-Up Sneakers (four colors)

Rothy’s is known for their sustainably made shoes made of recycled plastic that is turned into Rothy’s unique thread to comfortable and washable shoes. I love their pointed toe flats and purchased my second one earlier this year. So when I discovered they make lace-up sneakers as well, I was further intrigued. With many different styles and colors, be sure to explore what fits your preference, but knowing you can wash them and they look great is a great combo.

Stand Studio Brynnie quilted leather shoulder bag, 50% off

A shoulder bag with both space, simplicity and a subtle statement. And 50% off.

The White Company, Cable Knitted Tee w/Cashmere

Looking ahead to early fall and this new cashmere-blend cable tee caught my eye. Capable of being paired with so many separates, to be dressed up or down. It reminds me of a Ralph Lauren piece, but with short sleeves. Fall is closer than we think, and I am getting excited. 🙂

Television

Only Murders in the Building, season 3, Hulu

I was tickled to learn the third season of Only Murders in the Building is right on schedule premiering in early August, and this season looks to be perhaps their best one yet. Why? Look at the additional cast members – Meryl Streep and Paul Rudd in major roles, and with small, but significant roles for Ashley Park (from Emily in Paris), Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy), even Matthew Broderick, along with all of the other well-known faces you have come to enjoy. I cannot wait to begin watching. Have a look at the trailer and tune in Wednesday August 8th for the mystery to begin.


Happy Friday!

The first Friday of August and I can’t quite believe this month is upon us already, but at the same time, as this final full month of summer begins the winding down into fall, I always enjoy August and look forward to what it offers. For all sorts of reasons, but by now with summer in full gear, it feels as though a rhythm has found itself regarding how to move through the long, leisurely days of warmth, making sure to tend to work and responsibilities, but also, with the extra daylight, savoring the luxuries of early morning and late evening wanderings.

This week was full of discoveries, hiccups and celebrations, none of which I necessarily anticipated, but now, on the other side of the unwanted events and with the revealing of the treasured, am very grateful all of them happened.

I am looking forward to visiting a new dining establishment this weekend that is having its soft opening (and if it is as good as I think it will be, I will be sure to include it in Bend’s Travel Guide list), as well as getting outside in both the garden to tend to some necessary weeding, but also separating of a few very happy (but too large now) ground cover plants. Time walking and paddling will definitely be a part of the weekend plans and some office work as well. All in all, a weekend of enjoyment, productivity and rest. A good combination I would say.

I hope you are looking ahead to a weekend that you are eager to step into. This past week was a full one on the blog with the new monthly A Cuppa Moments w/Shannon video chat with TOP Tier Members (learn more about the benefits of becoming a TOP Tier Member here), a new podcast episode inspired by a book about living well, and the monthly gardening post taking readers into the garden sharing monthly tasks, contemplations, video and photo tours and gardening finds. With one more week before TSLL’s 8th Annual French Week begins, I am gearing up by listening to C’est La Vie, the album mentioned above, and sitting down to do a bit of review and studying of my French language materials.

Thank you for stopping by today and wishing you a wonderful weekend. Until Monday, bonne journée!

~Six of the most smashing Paris metro stations [The Guardian]

~Nine popular social habits that drain the life out of your relationships [Marc & Angel]

~The perfect Parisian work capsule wardrobe [Leonce Chenal]

~The best baguette recipe [NYtimes]

~How to live a really long time, and healthily so [Popular Mechanics]

~5 reasons to visit Paris in August, and 5 reasons to stay away [The Local]

~Monty Don’s August Tips & Advice newsletter

~With a new book coming out soon (March 2024 in the states) on the gardens at Chatsworth, take this tour of the rock garden, full of inspiration and beauty to calm your day. [[House & Garden UK]

~Today’s superpower is doing one thing at a time. An excerpt from a book that inspired this episode (#311) of the podcast. [NYTimes]

~Have you heard of the Latte Trend when it comes to fashion? Learn more about it here. It definitely speaks to the quiet luxury approach. [Vogue UK]

~Jenna Lyons shares her favorite items in her Soho apartment (and yep, that feather long skirt, the one that is almost more famous than she is, is one of them). [Vogue]

~A delicious savory French cake recipe few may know about [Saveur]

~Lessons learned from working in a French vineyard at age 54 [Connexion]

~John Legend and Chrissy Teigen give a tour of their newly finished home in Beverly Hills [Architectural Digest]

~New restaurants to try in London this August [CN Traveler]

~The best things to do in Lyon, France in 2023 [Frenchly]

~It’s summer, it’s strawberries-everywhere time and ice cream screams to be enjoyed! Here is Jamie Oliver’s no-churn homemade Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream.


~Explore last week’s This & That: July 28, 2023

Get ready to get comfortable, whether for sleep – sleepwear finds for men and women, or travel or preparing for early fall and late summer style, and some awesome prices on a few classic pieces. As well, books about living sustainably, cooking simply and deliciously for those who love Italian, and if you are looking for a simple approach to cooking one-dish recipes, a best-selling new cookbook from a favorite British chef. Also, I am getting you ready to travel internationally headache-free when it comes to tech and plug-ins as well as books for deepening your self-car routine and ensuring you remain a life-long learner to enhance your health and length of life, but also the quality. 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

10 thoughts on “This & That: August 4, 2023

  1. Shannon~

    Oh, my days!!! Jamie Oliver’s ice cream looks delightful, and definitely worth a try.

    I love the cap. I am often in need of one, but don’t like the overly casual look of them, so this is absolutely perfect. Casual, yet stylish. I also love the bird cafe´. I recently decided to add one outside my bedroom window to enjoy during the occasional lie-in and this might just be the one.

    The new Hot Sardines album is worth the anticipated wait. It reminded me a bit of Holly Cole Trio, who I also love. Looking forward to the release of OMITB, as well. Such a fun series that keeps you guessing.

    Enjoy your weekend and bon appetite.

    ~Michelle

    1. Thank you for stopping by Michelle and sharing what caught your eye and for the mention of Holly Cole Trio – I don’t know them and will have to explore! Elizabeth and I just finished recording our conversation for the upcoming podcast episode and she is amazing, inspiring and just a joy to listen to in conversation and on the record. I do think you will enjoy their new album, especially the French tracks, but the others as well, many of which while sung in English originally were French songs. And doesn’t Jamie’s recipe just make you want to run to the kitchen and make ice cream immediately! 🙂

      Wishing you a most wonderful weekend and grateful for your weekly ritual of joining us here as you take time during your day to just be. 🙂

  2. Shannon what a lovely vignette of your sunflowers in the pretty blue and white vase. The middle sunflower looks like it’s part of the picture. Deliberate or by chance? Lovely cap by ME+EM. I have the grey one. The peak is so comfortable. One of my favourite songs is J’attendrai. I hope I’m not giving anything away before the podcast with Elizabeth but it was originally Italian based on Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Written by Dino Oliviero and Nino Rastelli. It was then translated into French and used as an anthem during the second World war.
    I love the tangerine meditation from ‘The Art of Mindful Living. I’m reminded of my mother at Xmas time preparing a single large red apple
    (imported from Canada to South America). She took such care slicing it for six of us. It was beautiful to watch. The reason for slicing the single apple was they were very expensive and we could only afford a kilogram (3 in total) so she had to ration it! We had lots of exotic fruits in the garden but the red apples were a treat.
    Sorry, I digressed a bit. Look forward to Monty’s new book as Chatsworth House and Gardens in beautiful Derbyshire are just stunning and you can stay in one of the estate’s hotels. Peaky Blinders was filmed there..Up until her death the Duchess of Devonshire( one of the famous Mitford sisters ) helped to develop the house and gardens to what they are today. She wrote many books including a lovely cookery book’The Chatsworth cookery book’
    Wishing you and the pups bon weekend. Kameela 😊

  3. Shannon, the article on Chatsworth caught my eye. The house and grounds are only a short drive away so over the years I have visited countless times. Last November I took my mum to see the house dressed for Christmas and it was spectacular. It was a mystical Scandinavian theme and I took so many ideas from our visit as each room was different. If you get the chance on one of your trips you should come north and visits the Peaks as I think you would love it. There are other stately homes in the area and outstanding walks.

    Have a lovely weekend.

    1. Nicola,

      To have such a place so close to visit throughout the year and full of so much inspiration, how special. I can only imagine how beautiful it was decorated for the winter holidays. Thank you for sharing the most recent them. And to walk in that area! A dream! 🙂 So happy it is in your backyard. Thank you for stopping by.

  4. That Jamie Oliver recipe looks amazing!! I live in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada and if you know, you know… it’s peach season! I think I might have to sacrifice some of my beautiful farm fresh peaches for that! Anyone who hasn’t tried peaches with a drizzle of pure dark maple syrup on quality vanilla ice cream, go try it. Heaven in a bowl. If that’s too sweet for you, swap the maple syrup with a dusting of cinnamon.

      1. Your very welcome! I would invite anyone considering a vacation to consider the Niagara region in the spring, late summer or early fall. Niagara Falls is touristy and like a mini Las Vegas, so not for everyone, but the peninsula itself has gorgeous European style wineries, small family run wineries, lavender farms, loads of French and British history, delightful places to stay, delicious food and farm fresh produce and your backdrop is the wall of trees that makes up the escarpment. It’s beautiful.

  5. I just added two of the books you mentioned – Thich Nhat Hanh’s Art of Living and the novel by Hannah Rothschild – to my library hold list. And, as a Francophile, I thoroughly enjoyed the linked articles about France. Thank you, Shannon!

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