This & That: August 6, 2021
Friday August 6, 2021

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A handful of contemplative films – new and loved, Sundance and Cannes praised, critic praised and TSLL praised :). Lovely finds and sales for home décor to add a subtle touch of personality. A new book to inspire and concretely guide you to a more fulfilling use of your finite time. Barbra’s new album! An international bestseller for Anglophiles, a new rose water, rejuvenating facial mist and so much more.


Four Thousand Weeks: Time Managements for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman

Retired columnist from The Guardian, British writer, living in New York, Oliver Burkeman’s new book Four Thousand Weeks is set to be released this coming Tuesday (the 10th). “Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman delivers an entertaining, humorous, practical, and ultimately profound guide to time and time management. Rejecting the futile modern fixation on ‘getting everything done,’ Four Thousand Weeks introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing finitude, showing how many of the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time aren’t inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we’ve made as individuals and as a society―and that we could do things differently.” My copy is on its way, and I cannot wait to begin reading it. 🙂

~Read Burkeman’s final column for The Guardian here for a taste of his voice – 8 secrets to a (fairly) fulfilled life

Pacific Coasting by Danielle Kroll

As a life-long PNWer, I had to share illustrator and author Danielle Kroll‘s book which takes you up and down the west coast. There is something special about living here, and being so close to the coast, it is my favorite in-state getaway. Perhaps you too would enjoy this book whether you live here, lived here or long to live near the largest and calmest ocean in the world, or maybe you know just the perfect person for which to gift it to.

British Find

McDonald & Dodds, Season 2

Just having premiered on BritBox this week, Season 2 of McDonald & Dodds is available for viewing. The first 1 1/2 hour episode can be enjoyed now, and the second is supposed to be released next week. I couldn’t wait and already watched the episode the trailer introduces below, and it did not disappoint with a unique caper and the wonderful, foil-pairing of McDonald and Dodds. Set in Bath, England, with some future episodes said to be in Bristol, the backdrop is gorgeous and the clips captured inside the iconic libraries and historical buildings stunning. Have a look and enjoy the new season.

—Pastoral Song: A Farmer’s Journey (memoir) by James Rebanks

Rebanks was already a bestseller for his memoir The Shepard’s Life (2015), and now he has an international bestseller with Pastoral Song. His portrait of the “regeneration of a traditional farm in England’s Lake District is a historical reflection, teaching and source of inspiration as it reveals through his intimate lens the profound global transformation of agriculture and of the human relationship to the land”. Learn more here.

Pooky Lighting (August annual sale)

Save up to 70% on both lamps and shades (oodles of options to choose from), and yes, you can have it shipped to the states. I have been waiting for this sale to return since last year as I love their quirky, unique, yet also classic designs for great functionality. I solidified which of their many table lamps will sit next to my record player in my living room and it is en route as I type! Use promo code SCAMPER5 to save 5% on top of the sale savings. Sale runs through August.



Perhaps you heard the buzz when Annette opened the Cannes Film Festival this year. Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard star in a film about a comedian (Driver) and an opera singer (Cotillard) who have a two-year old daughter with a surprising gift. Watch the trailer below and view now on Amazon Prime. Intriguing is more than a bit of an understatement.

Nine Days

Recommended by the local boutique theater I greatly enjoy frequenting as they prefer to welcome thoughtful, creatively crafted and intriguing titles over excessively violent ones, such was the case when they chose to show Nine Days this weekend. An existential film critics are buzzing about, Nine Days brings to movie-goers’ attention a new name to know – Winston Duke. Centered around the premise of one’s man’s interviewing (Duke) of five unborn souls to determine which one can be given life on Earth, ‘ethereal’, ‘evocative’, ‘bittersweet’ are just a few of the descriptors of first-time director Edson Oda’s film. Have a look at the trailer below and look for it in theaters now.


I am just one week too early (August 13), but I wanted to give you the heads up on a film to watch as I have a FULL This & That planned for next Friday due to French Week, and I didn’t want this film to get lost in the shuffle. Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin in the biopic of the famed and beloved singer’s life comes with a story to tell in a powerfully and wonderful way. The entire cast is outstanding: Marlon Wayons, Audra McDonald, Mary J. Blige, Marc Maron (yep! the podcaster), Tituss Burgess and Forest Whitaker. Take a look at the trailer and put the date on the calendar.

Tasting Menu (2013)

Last weekend I watched the foreign film (primarily in Spanish) Tasting Menu. I loved it. Critics hated it. I don’t care. It is worth watching. A beautiful setting. Yes, the people are lovely to look at as well, but the simple, yet human stories dancing around the room are lovely. The idea of how and why emulsions are successful in producing the flavor we hope for while cooking takes on abstract meaning when viewed through the lens of relationships. I couldn’t help but laugh as well at the fun poked at Americans. Here is the trailer. Make yourself a lovely meal, pour a glass of your favorite wine, and sit down to enjoy as I did. The title says it all – it offers a taste and piques the mind on a myriad of topics. Critics be damned.

~here’s another film I loved even though the critics disagreed. I stand by my opinion as many TSLL readers loved it as well. 🙂


Release Me 2, album Barbra Streisand

Just released this week, Release Me 2 is a “compilation album of rare and previously unreleased tracks by Barbra Streisand”. The album serves as a follow-up to her 2012 compilation Release Me.

And if you want a fun car ride with Barbra singing her own songs – classics and new – watch this segment of Carpool Karaoke with James Corden recorded in November 2018. Fun conversations ensue – Streisand shares how she may not be the best driver (note, she is driving throughout the entire 12 minute video) and other topics of interest. I think you will enjoy, and yep, her voice absolutely still soars. 🙂


Aerin Mia Bag

Depending upon your style, Aerin Lauder’s Mia bag is a fun addition to the summer wardrobe that is made to last for years.

Jenni Kayne’s Balancing Mist

I love a good mist after I have put on my makeup in the morning or in the evening after I have gone through my skincare routine. As well, while traveling or when you skin just needs a pick-me up, such spritzes are worth having on hand (I even have one on my desk). Jenni Kayne’s new refreshing mist is full of vitamins and antioxidants. “Carrying the nourishing powers of rose water and the cooling touch of aloe, each spray is crafted to awaken and restore your skin—morning, night, and anywhere in between.”

Erin Gates’ Orchard Ripple Rug, Beige (many different sizes)

Interior designer and blogger Erin Gates‘ has new décor finds available at One Kings Lane, and her Orchard Ripple Rug caught my eye as it is made with both wool and jute to offer more warmth than jute, but not be as heavy (literally and aesthetically) as wool all on its own.

Barton Spindle/Bobbin Side chair – navy linen seat (more colors and wood choices)

I have been drawn to Bobbin furniture (as they call them in Britain) more and more (Pooky Lighting even has a few – here and here). Quirky, yet classic. A statement, but just barely, yet just enough. Barton’s spindle side chairs on their own in a hallway or small corner or vignette or purchased in a set of four or more for a dining room table make a statement that is sure to last for years.

Zara leather heeled sandals with jute insole (more colors)

A neutral, classic hue, comfortable on the feet to keep them cool and a simple style.

Zara Home raised honeycomb glass tumbler

A simple tumbler with a touch of old and new.

Zara Home Ceramic Vases

As I shared last week on the T & T, vases in unique, yet classic styles and colors just catch my eye and these are available at a great price.

Welcome to Friday, and welcome to the first Friday in August.

The weekend has indeed arrived, and after a quick trip to Portland (Norman joined me at the hair salon, behaving like the sweet gentleman that he is, while Oscar stayed home and hung out with the contractors, keeping an eye on things in between naps), wallpapering the guest bathroom, hearing from a dear friend who moved away to begin a new life chapter and stocking up on my favorite butter, I must say, the week treated me well and I am incredibly grateful.

How has your week been? I hope you too had many everyday moments to savor. French Week is fast approaching – in two days! – so I have been busily working on the week’s content. I have just now been able to respond to A Cuppa Moments, and I want to apologize for my tardiness. Rest assured, each comment will be seen, and I look forward to conversing with each of you. Thank you to everyone who has stopped by already, engaged with fellow TSLL readers and shared what you were comfortable. I have so enjoyed reading your comments thus far. 🙂

I am going to keep this week’s This & That editor’s note short and sweet, as the free weekly newsletter was just delivered to subscribers (learn more and subscribe here). I look forward to spending next week with fellow Francophiles, and I hope you have a lovely weekend. Below find a handful articles I’ve gathered up that you might enjoy. Until Sunday, bonne journée!

~You can shop the above Union Jack mug from Emma Bridgewater here (US site), here (UK site) and here.

~5 simple steps to creating a productive daily schedule [LifeHack]

~It’s a new month and Monty’s newsletter is out for gardeners!

~Six of the best historic restaurants in Paris [The Good Life France]

~Speaking of France, beginning in two short days here on TSLL blog . . . it’s TSLL’s 6th Annual French Week!

~Put together an art collection with American-British writer Jo Rodgers (who I thoroughly enjoy following on IG) [House & Garden Uk]

~How to support small businesses when you travel [Afar]

~The early bird’s guide to London – what do in the city before breakfast [Vogue UK]

~Recipe to try: an Easy Lemon and Lavender Cake [House & Garden UK]

~A thought-provoking read about the True Meaning and Measure of Intelligence [Brain Pickings]

~If you have been intrigued by Emily Mortimer’s series on Amazon The Pursuit of Love and wonder who the author of the book series that inspired it, Nancy Mitford, was, this article does a superb job of introducing you. [AirMail]

~As the Olympics wraps up this week, some stunning photographs captured at the games [The Atlantic]

Peruse last week’s This & That post

A new British series adapted by Emily Mortimer arrives for viewing in the U.S., simple, timeless terracotta décor, Martin Short and Steve Martin pair up with Selena Gomez in a film to watch, fantastic sales on items for the upcoming fall season, a new novel critics are raving about and bibliophiles as well as Anglophiles will love, and the Duchess of York has a new novel? Yep, that’s right and still, there is much more.

~Please note: Affiliate links are present in today’s post and may earn commissions for TSLL. View TSLL’s full Privacy Policy here | The Simply Luxurious Life

9 thoughts on “This & That: August 6, 2021

  1. Thank you for sharing the link to Burkeman’s ‘last column.’ In all honesty, I was hesitant, as I assumed I was going to read another “let-me-enlighten-you, little one” article, but I was wrong–very wrong. It was one of the most pleasant articles that I have read in quite some time. It was interwoven with humility, authentic vulnerability, and honest insight. In short, I believed him. It wasn’t your typical “do as I say, not as I do” eye-roll piece that continuously floods the internet and social media at a disturbing pace. I read it twice and shared the link with a dear friend. Once, again, thank you!

  2. Those Pooky lamps are so cute, and I now have my eye on one to use as a buffet lamp. Were you going to get an adapter for the plug?

    1. Have a few from traveling! All set and easy for it to arrive. ☺️ Cannot wait! They really are fun and with so many options, you can find one that works for what you need and want. I do hope you enjoy your lamp. 😌

  3. Wow, ‘Nine Days’…very much looking forward to that, thank you for introducing this gem. And of course, Oliver Burkeman.☺ I too LOVE a good facial mist and am currently addicted to La Roche-Posay Eau Thermale–which, as I have (aging) normal to oily skin, I use right after cleansing, before application of serums/lotions. What are your recommendations on this and other types of mists? As it’s a somewhat new territory for me, I would really appreciate the info.
    And new album from Babs!! Riches indeed😄 Happy Weekend! XO Rona

    1. Hi Rona . I am also a big fan of facial mists. I use ‘Beauty Elixir’ from Caudalie. It has now become a cult product but it’s reasonably priced. I am addicted to it. It was inspired by the youth elixir of Queen Isabelle of Hungary. It’s an aromatic 100% plant based bursting with powerful plant extracts. Makes the skin look radiant and also great for sealing make-up. Comes in two sizes. Have a lovely weekend xx

  4. Thank you Shannon for all the recommendations. I cannot wait to see ‘Respect’ after seeing the trailer .Jennifer Hudson is perfect choice to play the great Aretha. Another great Barbra Streisand was such a sport on carpool karaoke. Nine days looks intriguing .I am a big fan of Oliver Burkeman when he was at the Guardian .I enjoyed his collection of his Guardian columns (2011) and now his twice monthly email called ‘The Imperfectionist’. Loved James Rebanks ‘The Shepherd’s Life ( particularly like the audio version) and awaiting ‘English Pastoral’. I love the Lake district. it’s truly a magical place .In most parts time has stood still .If you ever get the opportunity to visit you won’t be disappointed. Wordsworth was born there and lived there most of his life. Beatrix Potter also lived there .Sorry I am digressing. Looking forward to French week. Bon weekend xx

    1. I know! I don’t know if there are any “new” songs, but this is the first time, this grouping has been pulled together and many are lesser known but still incredibly loved.

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