This & That: November 26, 2021 + Black Friday Sales
Friday November 26, 2021

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More than 20 items to peruse in this week’s This & That. Oodles, and oodles and endlessly oodles to peruse. From the impressive discounts offered with Black Friday’s arrival – my favorite silk pajamas from La Ligne NYC along with so many other great finds are greatly discounted, Brené Brown’s new book, a jazz album any true jazz love MUST have, the perfect cookbook for soirée appetizer ideas, two new films – one well-known and receiving strong interest as well as review and another receiving strong reviews even though not as high on the radar, two novels set in 20th century Paris, winter gloves and a scarf I cannot wait to scoop up, a book for gardeners as we plan our gardens during the winter and much, much, MUCH more.


Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown

Being released this coming Tuesday (November 30th), Brené Brown’s new book “Atlas of the Heart takes [readers] on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.”

Rationality: What It Is, Why it Seems Scarce, Why It Matters by Steven Pinker

Released this past September, and already a New York Times Bestseller, Rationality “rejects the cynical cliché that humans are simply irrational–cavemen out of time saddled with biases, fallacies, and illusions. After all, we discovered the laws of nature, lengthened and enriched our lives, and set out the benchmarks for rationality itself.  We actually think in ways that are sensible in the low-tech contexts in which we spend most of our lives, but fail to take advantage of the powerful tools of reasoning we’ve discovered over the millennia: logic, critical thinking, probability, correlation and causation, and optimal ways to update beliefs and commit to choices individually and with others. These tools are not a standard part of our education, and have never been presented clearly and entertainingly in a single book–until now.”


Arty Parties: An Entertaining Cookbook by Julia Sherman

With more parties and gatherings beginning to take place (I for one cannot wait to host my first dinner party) and Julia Sherman’s new cookbook shares some playful ways to spice up the traditional get-together. “Sherman shows you how to be the architect of your own uniquely memorable bash, whether that means a special breakfast for two, or a ‘choose your own adventure’ meal that’s flexible enough to feed a crowd. Forget the codified markers of good taste—Arty Parties instead reveals that modern gatherings are less about “getting it right” and more about getting your hands dirty, building community, and taking risks in the kitchen and beyond. Featuring colorful food that is confident in its simplicity, Sherman shares easy-to-follow, healthy recipes that value imaginative flavor combinations over complexity: dishes like an avocado-lemongrass panna cotta, saffron tomato soup, coconut rice cakes with smashed avocado and soy-marinated eggs, and roasted broccolini and blood oranges with a creamy pepita sauce.”


House of Gucci

Just released earlier this week, House of Gucci is a film I look forward to checking out soon. The true stories are often more difficult to believe than fiction, and that is exactly the case in House of Gucci. Have a look at the trailer for the film below starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, and read about the events that inspired the film here.


Based on a Tony Award winning play, Humans premieres on Showtime today and tells the story involving “three generations of Erik Blake’s family gathering to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter’s apartment in Manhattan.” But then “darkness falls and eerie things start to go bump in the night, laying bare their deepest fears – and the love that binds them together.” Take a look at the trailer below.

Francophile Finds

French Appetizers by Marie Asselin

From the food blogger behind Food Nouveau, Marie Asselin’s cookbook (released in 2019) is the resource to have on hand this holiday season (and well, anytime) to discover delicious French-inspired apéro bites. “Fresh, modern, and versatile French-inspired appetizers and small servings, from basic tapenades and hummus, to savory cakes, quiches, tartlets, mini sandwiches, soups, skewers, and sweet treats are perfect as a prelude to dinner, or even in place of an evening meal. Many recipes include simple formulas to make several versions of a single recipe so that you are only limited by your own taste buds and creativity.”

The Postmistress of Paris: A Novel by Meg Waite Clayton

Being released this coming Tuesday and written by the bestselling author of The Lost Train, The Postmistress of Paris “revisits the dark early days of the German occupation in France in this haunting novel—a love story and a tale of high-stakes danger and incomparable courage—about a young American heiress who helps artists hunted by the Nazis escape from war-torn Europe.”

The Queen of Paris: A Novel of Coco Chanel by Pamela Binnings Ewen

The Queen of Paris came recommended to me by a TSLL reader, and on Tuesday it will be available in the states to enjoy. “Vividly imagining the hidden life of Chanel during the four years of Nazi occupation in Paris in the midst of WWII — as discovered in recently unearthed wartime files” — The Queen of Paris will capture your intrigue, and I have a feeling be hard to put down once you begin. I cannot wait to read it.


Eat What You Grow: How to have an undemanding edible garden that is both beautiful and productive by Alys Fowler

Now is the time to plan, ponder and imagine what next year’s garden may be. “Alys shows you how to create a rich, biodiverse garden that feeds not only you, but supports a wide range of pollinators, bees and butterflies, as well as other wildlife. From perennial vegetables that come back year after year, to easy-to-grow delights, she has selected plants that hold their own in both the garden and on the plate. And tells you how to raise these plants, guiding you through the process of feeding your soil, saving seed and taking cuttings to increase your supplies.”


Giant Steps by Coltrane

Fellow jazz lovers, if you don’t already have John Coltrane’s most popular album Giant Steps, hustle à tout de suite to add it to your music library. I was late to the party on this one, but oh my am I loving it. Have a listen to the title track below.

Shopping + Black Friday Sales

Bloomist White Walnut Plum Vase (more designs)

I stumbled upon Bloomist’s shop recently and saved it immediately. I am always keeping my eye open for unique vases as they bring just as much beauty as the flowers, boughs and branches selected to fill them. And to my delight, Bloomist has many different vases to choose from.

—Coach Leather Knit Cuff Mixed Gloves (black also available)

Warm and stylish, and now on sale – 25% off with THANKS25 promo code.

Coach Wool Sweater Dress, Ivory

Also on sale, a sweater dress perfect for staying warm and dressing up for the holidays in simple style.

—DVF Astrid Midi Wrap Dress in Cashmere & Wool, Navy (20% off)

I love a good midi dress, and DVF’s navy wrap is now on sale. Use promo code GRATEFUL20.

Alta chunky knit scarf, La Ligne NYC Sale

For the first time that I can remember, La Ligne NYC is having a sale. If you love stripes, be sure to stop by, and check out this scarf as well – how fun, yet timeless and subtly chic?

~Bonne Soirée Silk Pajamas (I love mine and just slept in them last night!), on sale!

I have been enjoying these silk pajamas since this past spring and cannot recommend them more highly. Love, love, love. And now they are on sale (more colors available).

Paravel Cabana Tote (many colors)

A timeless tote for any time of the year (and one of Oprah’s Favorite Things).

Permanent Collection Original Egg Spoon

For the cook on your holiday shopping list, the classic hand forged iron Alice’s Egg Spoon.  Where did it all begin? “In 2004, when Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters (Permanent Collection co-founder, Fanny’s mother) read William Rubel’s The Magic of Fire: Hearth Cooking, she asked a blacksmith friend named Angelo Garro to make a spoon to cook an egg in the coals. The iconic spoon quickly became one of the items most identified with Alice’s kitchen and cuisine. This Permanent Collection version is modeled after that original spoon, but crafted by blacksmith Shawn Lovell according to Alice’s honed specifications to make cooking a single egg a fun, special and easy ritual!”

Theory Double-Face Wool-Cashmere Clairence Jacket (25% off), more colors

Theory is having a great sale at the moment, and their coats are items to scoop up.

—Black Friday Deals & Sales

  • J.Crew, save 40% off site-wide with promo code SHOPEARLY
  • La Ligne NYC, over 50% off select items
  • Madewell, 30% off your order with promo OHJOY
  • Net-a-Porter, 15% off site-wide with promo code BLACKFRIDAY (thru Nov. 29)
  • Nordstrom, save up to 50%
  • Theory, 25% off almost everything



La Ligne NYC

Happy Friday. ?

After a day of feasting here in the states, the final Friday of November arrives, and with it an awareness that the winter holidays are indeed upon us. This weekend I will begin making garland with my mother as I am making a quick trip to see my parents, and look forward to taking walks with Norman and catching up with a good friend. The holiday cooking episode will go live on the blog tomorrow with a simple, yet deeply holiday spice of a flavor. Be sure to check it out. ?

I hope your week, whether you were traveling, staying home, working or anything in between, went well, and you are looking ahead to a weekend to savor. Thank you for everyone who checked out the Beaujolais video whether here on the blog or on Instagram this week. Your kind words and confirmation about the message of what living simply luxuriously is all about and how it aligns with the French culture brought a smile and I appreciate your time shared to take a look. I felt incredibly fortunate to have that opportunity, and it was a treat to share it with you this week.

If you haven’t already checked out TSLL’s Holiday Gift Guide, I have included it again at the bottom of this post (or you can click here). Before we know it another month will conclude, but before it does, I hope these final days of November bring you much love, peace and reasons to be grateful. I am deeply grateful for your choosing to stop by and continue to visit TSLL blog. Wishing you a lovely Friday, and until tomorrow bonne journée. Below are links, articles and two videos you might enjoy for weekend perusal.

~Two Julia Child favorites for Thanksgiving (they might surprise you!) [The Washington Post]

~Don’t forget to remember the good accidents that have happened in your life [Seth Godin]

~A French Holiday Gift Guide from HipParis

~Simple Living Holiday Activities [A Considered Life]

~For bibliophiles, The New York Times release their annual 100 Notable Books list

~29 ways to decorate with plants and foliage for Christmas [House & Garden UK]

~8 little wake-up calls you need to receive before it’s too late [Marc & Angel]

~5 principles for a better post-pandemic you [WSJ]

~Covid, the holidays and celebrating – The experts weigh in [NYTIMES]

~Slip away to the South of France and tour this newly renovated country house (the bathroom caught my eye, surprise, surprise ?) [Remodelista]

~Speaking of France, lets stay there for a while and discover the many ways to use the classic Savon de Marseilles cubes of soap [Frenchly]

~The joy of dining along – ‘Table for one? Yes, please.” [The Guardian]

~The ritual of table setting: It’s historical significance and cultural importance [House & Garden UK]

~Another lovely home to tour, designed by Rita Konig for a client in Manhattan – modern and minimal, but with Konig’s expertise. Be sure to check it out. [House & Garden UK]

~The importance of a Healthy and Balanced Diet for Energy [Life Hack]

~Coming in January! After much anticipation! Julian Fellowes is bringing a new series to HBO – The Gilded Age. Check out the trailer below.

~But Julian Fellowes is not done yet with Downton Abbey and now we have a premiere date for the second movie AND Francophiles get just as excited as Anglophiles as the film will take viewers to France!!!! – Set your calendars for March 18th.

~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

8 thoughts on “This & That: November 26, 2021 + Black Friday Sales

  1. I’ve made plans to go and see House of Gucci next week with my mum and sister. I look forward to seeing Lady Gaga’s performance as well as Adam Driver’s!
    I think you may have shared the Paravel tote before unless I have seen it elsewhere, but they are lovely totes and if I am lucky enough to hopefully travel somewhere sunny next year I think this may be my choice of holiday tote.

    I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving Shannon, and enjoy a wonderful weekend with your family and friend x

  2. Re The House of Gucci, it was nice to see Al Pacino playing someone other than Al Pacino.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. I am so excited for Downton Abbey 2!! The Gilded Age looks like it is going to be fantastic as well. I really enjoyed the 8 Little wake up calls article, thank you!

  4. Shannon, great post as usual. Saw the preview for Downton Abbey while I was at the movies this past week. My first time venturing into a movie theatre since March, 2020. I saw Belfast, highly recommend, it is shot in black and white and is really moving but with some wonderful funny moments. It brought back memories for me, as a family we left England in 1967, so we were ‘the ones that left’. Plus the soundtrack, alot of Van Morrison was wonderful. Also, thanks for recommendation for Borgen, from a previous post. It is one of the best series I have seen on Netflix in a long time. Have a great weekend.

  5. Shannon, I really want to thank you again for the work you put into this selection of great things for the benefit of your readers, every week, sun or rain. It’s a lot of a work and really appreciate your dedication. For my part, I always find something to tickle my fancy. 🙂

    My favourites this week: House of Gucci, John Coltrane, French Appetizers, Downton Abbey, Gilded Age.

    A lot to enjoy… !

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