This & That: July 14, 2023 —Bastille Day!
Friday July 14, 2023

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With festivities for Le Quatorze Juillet taking place today, I have found a fun new French film (that comes highly reviewed) along with a handful of other Francophile finds from clothing to cooking and even a British film that takes us to France as well. Also, whether you are a Francophile or not, some wonderful books ranging in topics from fiction with a talented pianist on a personal journey as the protagonist, recipes for afternoon tea at home, mastering your mind, deepening your mindfulness practice and Jackie O. Two fun films being released today in the states I think you will enjoy, clothing finds including sales to scoop up classic timeless pieces at great prices and the new carry-on luggage I am loving and recommending highly after having used it this past weekend for my getaway to Eugene. Still, there is more! Happy Bastille Day/Fête Nationale!


Afternoon Tea at Home: Deliciously indulgent recipes for sandwiches, savouries, scones, cakes and other fancies by Will Torrent

While released a couple of years ago, this is a book that must be known if you love to enjoy tea and share with others in your home. First of all, don’t these lemon and polenta drizzle cakes (that resemble madeleines) look (and sound) scrumptious? Filled with 80 seasonal recipes “with extra chapters on a Classic afternoon tea and a Showstopper afternoon tea, Will Torrent showcases his no-nonsense approach to the techniques involved in patisserie, baking, chocolate work, and serving savory dishes. Beautifully illustrated and an invaluable source of inspiration, there are also six guest recipes from top restaurants and hotels: The Ritz; The Dorchester; The Gramercy Tavern; The Berkeley; Harrods; and Raymond Blanc’s Les Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. Starting with a brief history of British afternoon tea, Torrent then offers up recipes for jelly, spreads, butters, and curds—everything you might need to serve alongside afternoon tea. Recipes include Smoked Salmon & Whipped Cream Cheese sandwiches, Cherry & Almond Bakewell Tarts, and Fruited Scones; as well as more adventurous offerings of Prosecco, Lime & Mint Jello and Lemon & Lime Matcha Tea Friends.”

August Blue: A Novel by Deborah Levy

From an author who was a finalist for the Booker Prize for her previous novels The Man Who Saw Everything and The Cost of Living, Deborah Levy’s new novel (released on June 6th) follows the journey of protagonist “Elsa M. Anderson who is at the height of her career, the piano virtuoso―former child prodigy, now in her thirties, and as the novel begins she walks off the stage in Vienna, mid-performance.” Commence the plot.

Change Your Brain Everyday: Simple Daily Practices to Strengthen Your Mind, Memory, Moods, Focus, Energy, Habits and Relationships by Daniel G. Amen, MD

Already plopped into my shopping cart, Change Your Brain Everyday was released this past March, written by psychiatrist and clinical neuroscientist Daniel Amen, MD. He “draws on over 40 years’ clinical practice with tens of thousands of patients to give you the most effective daily habits he has seen that can help you improve your brain, master your mind, boost your memory, and make you feel happier, healthier, and more connected to those you love.

“Incorporating Dr. Amen’s tiny habits and practices over the course of a year will help you:

  • Manage your mind to support your happiness, inner peace, and success
  • Develop lifelong strategies for dealing with whatever stresses come your way
  • Create an ongoing sense of purpose in a way that informs your daily actions
  • Learn major life lessons Dr. Amen has gleaned from studying hundreds of thousands of brain scans”

More knowledge about our minds sounds like a great idea for deeper self-awareness. I look forward to reading it.

Deeper Mindfulness: The New Way to Rediscover Calm in a Chaotic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman

Tangentially related in subject matter to the previous book is the second book from authors of the wildly popular first book by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. Deeper Mindfulness shares how “to deepen the effect of mindfulness practice by focusing on what the authors describe as vedana, or ‘feeling tone,’ which targets certain core processes in the meditating mind. Over eight weeks, listeners will learn to apply this practice to such unpleasant emotions and mood disorders as anxiety, depression, stress, and general unhappiness; when these unpleasant emotions evaporate, listeners will be left with a calm space inside from which they can rebuild their lives.”

Jackie: Public, Private, Secret by J. Randy Taraborrelli 

Being released on July 18th, “based on hundreds of interviews with friends, family, and lovers over a thirty-year period―as well as previously unreleased material from the JFK Library―Kennedy historian J. Randy Taraborrelli paints an unforgettable new portrait of a woman whose flaws and contradictions only serve to make her even more iconic. ‘I have three lives,’ Jackie told a former lover, ‘public, private and secret.’ In Jackie: Public, Private, Secret, readers will become intimately familiar with all three.”

New insights from the book include:
· Jackie’s cold feet before her wedding to Jack Kennedy and her secret plan to avoid moving into the White House with him.
· Jackie’s plan to meet with the woman with whom her husband, Aristotle Onassis, was again having an affair, Maria Callas…and why, in the end, she decided against it.
· The truth about the nude photos of Jackie which scandalized her in the 1970s…and which family member had betrayed her by selling them.
· Her unusual relationship with Maurice Templesman, which was never what outsiders believed it to be.
· The never-before-reported, last-ditch efforts to save Jackie’s life with experimental cancer treatments, and the doctor who wouldn’t risk jail time in order to treat her.

British Finds

Joseph extra-fine cashmere v-neck jumper, 30% off (all colors)

During the end of year sales last winter/fall, I shared I scooped up a few items from the British brand Joseph, and I found a brand I will now always look to for my essential layers. This begins with the simple, extra-fine cashmere v-neck jumper, and right now, all five colors are on sale and worth scooping up. Granted, you likely won’t be wearing them for a couple more months, at least, but you definitely won’t be paying full price for them as opposed to purchasing in the fall.


The Miracle Club

A handful of TSLL readers shared they were looking forward to this new film starring Kathy Bates, Laura Linney, and Maggie Smith. Beginning in Dublin and concluding in Lourdes, France, and with this star-studded cast, it looks like quite a lot of fun to watch.

Directed by award-winning Irish filmmaker Thaddeus O’Sullivan, The Miracle Club centers around close friends who are determined “to win a pilgrimage to the sacred French town of Lourdes, that place of miracles that draws millions of visitors each year. When the chance to win presents itself, the women seize it. However, just before their trip, their old friend Chrissie (Laura Linney) arrives in Ballygar for her mother’s funeral, dampening their good mood and well-laid plans. The women set out on the journey that they hope will change their lives, with Chrissie, a skeptical traveler, joining in place of her mother. The glamour and sophistication of Chrissie, who has just returned from a nearly 40-year exile in the United States, are not her only distancing traits: Old wounds are reopened along the way, forcing the women to confront their pasts even as they travel in search of a miracle.” Look for it in theaters today and check out the trailer below.

Theater Camp

Being released this Friday as well, I learned about this film while watching NPR’s film critics share their picks for films to enjoy this summer. Theater Camp “follows the eccentric staff of a rundown camp in upstate New York who must band together with the son of the beloved founder (Amy Sedaris) to keep the camp afloat when she falls into a coma right before the summer session is set to begin.” Have a look at the trailer below.

Francophile Find

The Crime is Mine

If you live in France, you likely already know about this film as it was released this past Spring, and while it is not available yet here in the states to stream, be sure to keep a look out for it in theaters soon as Rotten Tomatoes gave it a nearly 100% rating.

Mon Crime (The Crime is Mine) is a loose adaptation of the 1934 play “Mon crime”, by Georges Berr and Louis Verneuil, which has already been adapted twice by Hollywood: Cross My Heart (1946) and True Confession (1937). “Set in 1930s Paris, Madeleine, a pretty, young, penniless and talentless actress, is accused of murdering a famous producer. Helped by her best friend Pauline, a young unemployed lawyer, she is acquitted on the grounds of self-defense. A new life of fame and success begins, until the truth comes out.” Have a look at the trailer below and keep your eyes peeled for when it arrives in the states.

Saint James Nautical Breton Clothing

Having stripes on hand in my closet whether it is summer, spring, fall or winter is a must and Saint James is a very dependable French brand for the nautical staples. I have shopped a handful of items below.


Boden Broderie Tie-Neck Linen Top, white

Linen – perfect for breathable comfort in the summer. Eyelet detail for a touch of femininity. Pairing easily with so many bottom options, this is a versatile summer find.

J.Crew, end-of-season sale

A sale to scoop up summer staples is on now at J.Crew. Simply use promo code SHOPSALE to save up to 70%. I have shopped a handful of items for you below in the scroll, and in particular these leather thong heels, similar to a style from Toteme – theirs now out of stock, caught my eye for its timeless style, subtle height, but also comfort in hot weather (and all sizes are currently available at the time of posting).

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Earlier this week I shared a detailed shopping post including 50+ hand-picked items. Explore the post here. If you are a cardholder, you can begin shopping now, and come Monday the sale is open to everyone.



The Jewel Thief

If you enjoy an intriguing documentary about a true story involving art, jewelry and thievery, this is the documentary for you. “The Jewel Thief is Gerald Blanchard’s surprising, first-hand account as a calculating and accomplished criminal mastermind. Two unlikely detectives track him worldwide as he commits increasingly elaborate heists in a quest for fame.” Have a look at the trailer below and watch it on Hulu beginning today.


Props Carry-On Luggage

I recently was given the opportunity to try out a new company’s product for smarter, simpler travel. Props reached out to me back in June to see if I would give their new carry-on piece of luggage that is unique in that it has an “expandable leg system that creates an instant work surface making layovers more productive while our unique top-lid opening makes packing and unpacking more efficient.” And the latter benefit is what I experienced (and quite enjoyed) this past weekend.

Taking my Props luggage with me as my luggage of choice this past weekend, I easily set up the legs and created an comfortable and accessible piece of luggage to find what I needed without placing my luggage on my bed (which is usually what I do), or laying it on the floor if an additional short table or stand isn’t available (it typically isn’t due to space). The luggage is super light and available in four colors. I chose the dark blue/midnight and what I also appreciated about the design was the different approach to how you open your luggage. Instead of being opened like a book, the top simply opens, and you have access to everything, with nothing falling out from one side or the other.

A telescopic handle and 360° spinner wheels ensure a smooth and effortless ride, and you can securely lock your luggage as well. If you are looking for a quality piece of carry-on that makes lay-overs and working away from home and at the airport more comfortable as you have your own side-table with you wherever you are, as well as easier to pack and live away from home, I sincerely do recommend Props’ luggage. I will be choosing this piece for my carry-on when I take to the skies this coming fall!

July 14th. A day of celebration for the French and a particularly special day here in Bend as eight years ago today I arrived in Bend with two pups, one day ahead of the moving truck that would be unpacked the next day helping me move and officially settle into my rental – my new home, but I didn’t mind sleeping in a relative’s motor home for my first night because I was sleeping in Bend, Oregon! I had finally made it. For years, unconsciously beginning when I was a young girl and consciously 15 years earlier in my early twenties I had begun to dream of one day calling Bend, Oregon, home and serendipitously the day I arrived happened to be Bastille Day or Le Quatorze Juillet. It made me smile endlessly just thinking about the happenstance. And so this day is quite special.

July has become a bit nostalgic as of late as I returned to my graduate school alma mater this past weekend and walked the campus for the first time in over 20 years (thus the pic shown above). A wonderful walk through memories that made for a great year before ‘adulting’ began. 🙂 Paired with great companionship of the two-legged variety and four-legged, great food (see below our brunch at Lion & Owl) and walks along the Pre Trails located in the heart of Eugene, I arrived back in Bend on Monday afternoon exhausted but having enjoyed myself immensely.

~These Oat Pancakes are the spotlight menu item patrons come to L & O for. Whether to begin your meal or enjoy as a dessert (which is what we did), they are topped with lemon cream cheese, raspberries, coconut-oat crumb and mint syrup, and it is all gluten-free. Yumo. 🙂 Check out my Travel Guides for Eugene, Oregon, where I have included this restaurant complete with a Google map so you can plan where to go and how to get there.~

But back to celebrating days that are special to each of us on our individual life journey calendar. I have no doubt you have certain dates you hold in your memory where a page turned into a new chapter you long awaited to finally arrived. How do you celebrate those? Do you celebrate those? And if you don’t, why not start this year and with each passing year, make that particular date a special one on your personal calendar? Following my own advice, a bit more serendipity is happening today as a good friend is stopping by to install the long-awaited cottage screen door. After picking it up last week and staining it this week, it is ready to go up and hopefully by the day’s end, it will all be as I had hoped long ago when I dreamed of living in my own little cottage. And in even more good news, it looks like the tour of this front entry (both exterior and interior) will be able to be posted by month’s again because the replacement pieces for the door handle I wrote about in last week’s This & That are shipping out next week! Wahoo! Wahoo!

From a great homemade dinner paired with a glass of French wine, reading a book that just arrived that is set in Brittany and savoring the beauty of all the lavender that is now in full bloom at Le Papillon, Bastille Day celebrations will be sprinkled throughout the day in small yet significant ways that make me smile, and I hope you too will sprinkle yours in ways that celebrate your love for the French culture, whatever those might be.

Below I have included oodles of links, posts and one video I think you might enjoy, many of which are French-inspired. And speaking of French-inspired, we are now one month away from TSLL’s 8th Annual French Week kicking off here on the blog! A full week of all things French, complete with giveaways and oodles of inspiration to incorporate the French culture into your everyday no matter where you call home. Be sure to explore past French Weeks here.

With that said, est-vous prêt pour la fin de semaine?! Wishing you a wonderful weekend celebrating, relaxing, dancing, dining and/or whatever you are looking forward to partaking in these next couple of days. Until Monday, bonne journée!

~A brief history of France’s July 14th holiday, Fête Nationale (what non-French often call Bastille Day – the French never actually do). [France24]

~The top 10 spots for a Parisian picnic and what to bring. [Hip Paris]

~The microphone was flipped this week as I was invited to be a guest on Decorating Tips & Tricks. I had such a great time sharing tips and my approach to decorating for creating a sanctuary with fellow podcaster Anita Joyce (check out her blog Cedar Hill Farm House here where she writes about French country décor). Listen to the full conversation here where we talk about how to decorate with prints & patterns (à la English cottage style), what inspired my own design decisions, the key to decisions that you love for years to come, how to approach decorating on a budget and much more.

~And speaking of French inspiration, host of the podcast mentioned above, Anita Joyce has a book you might quite enjoy: French Accents: Farmhouse French Style for Today’s Home. She shares oodles of inspiration for welcoming touches of France into your home.

~If you are looking for delicious, simple and summer inspired recipes this weekend, look no further than Nigel Slater’s most recent column sharing five recipes that captured my appetite’s attention. [The Guardian]

~So many of us already know that walking regularly and for our daily dose of exercise is a healthy decision, and to underscore this, discover 15 Full-Body Benefits of doing so according to doctors. [Prevention]

~The best Vintage clothing stores in Paris [Frenchly]

~10 French summer outfits to wear all summer long [Leonce Chenal]

~New London restaurants to try this July. [CondeNast Traveller]

~If you are visiting Paris this summer, 17 crowd-free things to do in the city. [Afar]

~If you have ever dreamed about buying a home in the English countryside, read this guide to help you make it a reality. [House & Garden UK]

~I couldn’t agree more with nurturing intergenerational friendships. Discover the benefits of doing so. [First for Women]

~As an HSP, how to manage the ‘expectations vs. reality’ syndrome. I especially appreciated #6 and #7 on this list. [Sensitive Refuge]

~A topic dear to my heart when it comes to choosing how/where to live is Living Small, in a small house that is. Many years ago I wrote this post about the 10 Benefits of Living in a Small Home and later deepened the conversation and dedicated an entire chapter in my second book to the top (chapter 13). Living in a smaller house is often a very sage decision and her is why [Southern Living]

~The author of The War of Art (a book I highly recommend if you are trying to navigate your journey forward and trusting what you cannot know, but feel innately within), talks about Individuation and the necessity of traveling through the ‘wilderness’ to reach the destination that is uniquely yours. [Writing Wednesdays].

~I recently began following Valérie Leberichel’s IG account as I love her effortless, laidback style with touches of personality. Take a tour of her Parisian apartment and see a glimpse of her own personal style (as well as her love for books) in Vogue France‘s One Fille Un Style.

~Explore last week’s This & That: July, 7, 2023

Quite a few shopping finds, one find as seen at Wimbledon in the stands, a lovely summer capsule detail to have for years to come. Totes, dresses, cover-ups, shorts and more. Books about decorating with books, aging exuberantly, the history of the invention of the restaurant and when it actually began in France as well as two novels receiving attention for their genre. Also, a new season arrives for a favorite and long-running French series that takes viewers around the hexagon with each episode, a brocante pop-up not to miss 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.

15 thoughts on “This & That: July 14, 2023 —Bastille Day!

  1. Hello, Shannon – quite a few things caught my eye today while reading through your post and I want to comment on just a few. First, I was happy to see The Miracle Club movie mentioned as I watched it with a friend just last night. I just HAD to see it because of the setting, as well as the actors. We both absolutely loved it, and it provided a chance to visit a new independent movie house in our city. Lovely. And, I’m checking out the Saint James Breton tops (again), thinking a purchase may be in order in the near future. Now to delve into the information about Bastille Day as I’m very much interested in learning more. Happy Friday to all –

    1. Pamela,

      So tickled to hear you enjoyed the film! Thank you for sharing. I am looking forward to watching it as well at a local independent movie house and think it will be a treat. What a cast! I do think you will appreciate the quality of Saint James. The difficult is selecting what to purchase! :). Thank you so much for stopping by and wishing you a happy Bastille Day!

  2. Shannon~

    I have been celebrating Bastille Day with a yummy croissant for breakfast, loads of French Cafe´ style music, and now, an espresso with a Champagne truffle along with This & That. I only wish I would have remembered to wear my Breton top.

    Afternoon Tea at Home looks like a must-have! I just had an epiphany yesterday that I will begin reading a biography every third book, and as a long-time admirer, Jackie seems as though it will be a great second to Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait. I have also decided to view more documentaries so thank you for adding The Jewel Thief.

    I really enjoyed your conversation with Decorating Tips and Tricks podcast, as well as, meeting Anita Joyce, a fellow Texan. She has stunning style if her website is any indication, and I will certainly consider purchasing her book.

    In “Why Expectations…”, #s 1, 2, & 5 were spot on for me. Just another affirmation that I am most definitely an HSP. In fact, I am thinking of ditching my book club because we rarely discuss the book (my intention) as they prefer to use the time for tittle-tattle. I always leave frustrated, so I have decided to suggest that we read the books we desire individually and just have a girls’ night out 🙂 .

    So very much looking forward to French Week!


    1. Michelle,

      You’re celebrating of this French holiday sounds fantastique! ☺️🇫🇷❤️ Thank you for tuning in to the podcast episode. I think you will find some worthwhile inspiration on her blog Cedar Hill Farmhouse. Anita was a pleasure to work with and I am grateful to have been invited.

      Sorry to hear about your book club. Your suggestion would be understandable.

      Wishing you a nice summer weekend and thank you for stopping by. 😌

  3. Reading the London restaurants article I’m reminded of a place I’d love to try – JOIA in the art’otel, in Battersea – the decor, the food and the pool look truly fabulous!

  4. Thanks for sharing the piece about the history of July 14th. And I do appreciate the post about Props luggage–it’s absolute genius, I’m going to buy one of their carry-ons.

    1. Jenna,

      I genuinely like this piece of luggage and will continue to use it as my go-to carry-on. It was refreshing to not have to wonderful which side of my suitcase to open first so nothing would fall out and the feet, as you said, genius. Also, a no brainer and I am surprised it took so long for such a design. Grateful to have found them.

  5. Happy Saturday! Was so glad to see this post with lots of movie recommendations, even a French one! And, thank you, Shannon, for your movie suggestions on last week’s post to my comment. I promise I won’t keep commenting on movies, just trying to bulk up my list a bit.
    Headed to Germany in August, that suitcase is intriguing, is it small enough to be considered a carry on? Have a good rest of your weekend! Alicia 🙂

    1. Alicia,

      So happy to hear the post of films was helpful. To answer your question about the Props luggage, yes, this is proper carry-on size. I look forward to using this as mine moving forward. Have a wonderful time in Germany! Sounds like a wonderful trip. 😌 And thank you for stopping by.

  6. Shannon, thanks for a great T&T. The Miracle Club looks great, I will keep my eye out for it coming to a local theater. Briefly read, the benefits of a small home but will reread again. Mine is around 1100 and it’s perfect for me. The garden front and back are bigger than the house. That was more the way when it was built in the early 60s. Have been working the last 3 days in a row with one more to go, so I am totally into the End of Summer sales, it’s been crazy at our EF store. Enjoy your Sunday everyone.

    1. Josanne,

      Wishing you a restful upcoming few days off! And tickled you found the time to stop by today. I too agree about living in a smaller home for a wide variety of reasons. Thank you for sharing your experience. 🙂 I’d say some self-care is in order after the busy weekend! Enjoy. 🙂

  7. Shannon hope you had a lovely time in Oregon. Always nostalgic to revisit one’s Alma Mater.
    Fête Nationale was a little subdued here. After a delicious very long lunch(8hours!!) with friends we headed to a wonderful fireworks display at our local medieval château. Nearly as impressive as Paris! Notably this yesr there were many security. guards because of the recent riots.
    The book recommendation’Change your brain everyday ‘ is going on my list. I’ve been doing some simple daily practices to exercise my brain for a while now. Curious to see how much more I can add .
    I highly recommend ‘Mon Crime’. I saw it earlier in the year . It is sparkling , joyful and serious at the same time. A bit burlesque.- something the French are good at. It’s directed by a fabulous director and has two of my favourite actors Isabelle Huppert and Dany Boon. It’s based on a piece written for the theatre and the film has that intimacy. It had a 4 out of 5 star review.
    Really enjoyed your conversation with Anita Joyce.. You have done well to invest in some Joseph knits. You won’t regret it. Some of my pieces are still going strong. Oh Bretin tops I’m addicted to them. Simply chic.
    Have a lovely weekend

    1. Kameela,

      Thank you so much for sharing what you enjoyed about Mon Crime. It looks fantastic and I value your opinion so appreciate your sharing the review. Aren’t Joseph items great quality. I am so grateful to have found them. Sounds like you have a beautiful and enjoyable Fête Nationale, so happy to hear.

      Thank you for stopping by this weekend and wishing you a lovely week ahead. Bonne soirée.

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