This & That: November 3, 2023
Friday November 3, 2023

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Three wonderful new films on very different topics, oodles of sweaters, Fair Isle sweaters included and some on sale. A new play opening up in London for a limited time in the West End that I wish I could go see, books for styling of our wardrobe as well as our home, a classic book for Francophiles to read and a Black Friday sale that has already begun for cooks and is not to miss. Plus, much more.


CBK: Carolyn Bassett Kennedy: A Life in Fashion by Sunita Kumar

Being released this coming Tuesday is a book the fashion world has been talking about and looking forward to reading for some time, CBK. A book that centers entirely on the timeless style of the late Carolyn Bassett Kennedy. In this past Sunday’s New York Times Fashion section, a detailed profile piece that is worth reading (gift link).

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Life in Design: Celebrating 30 Years in Interiors by Kathryn M. Ireland

An English-born designer who moved to southern California and now also has a farmhouse in Provence, Kathryn M. Ireland. All of these worlds lived in and knowing well come to life in her interior design approach with clients and in her own homes, and what is lovely to take note of, over the years, Kathryn M. Ireland’s timeless aesthetic in her approach has remained consistent – cozy, layered and honoring of the architecture of whichever home she may be decorating. In her new book Life in Design: Celebrating 30 Years in Interiors, explore projects she has worked on, including her own homes.

And did you know you can also take a Create Academy course led by Ireland? Yep! And, Artfully Edited Interiors, and it looks quite fantastic. In fact, it is the next one I hope to sign up for soon.

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My Name is Barbra by Barbra Streisand

Biographies tend to be one of my favorite genres to read, and then close behind in my interest of books to read are autobiographies where we hear the subject of the book speak for themselves, see their life story through their experience, and as someone who admires Barbra Streisand, one of “the handful of EGOT winners (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) and one of the greatest and most recognizable voices in the history of popular music being nominated for a Grammy 46 times, and then with Yentl where she became the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a major motion picture”, My Name is Barbra is an autobiography that many people are most curious to read, including myself.

“In My Name Is Barbra, she tells her own story about her life and extraordinary career, from growing up in Brooklyn to her first star-making appearances in New York nightclubs to her breakout performance in Funny Girl on stage and winning the Oscar for that performance on film . . .”. Described as “like Barbra herself, frank, funny, opinionated, and charming, she recounts her early struggles to become an actress, eventually turning to singing to earn a living; the recording of some of her acclaimed albums; the years of effort involved in making Yentl; her direction of The Prince of Tides; her friendships with figures ranging from Marlon Brando to Madeleine Albright; her political advocacy; and the fulfillment she’s found in her marriage to James Brolin.”

Look for the book to be released this coming Tuesday November 7th.

British Find

Backstairs Billy, theatre, London

Oh, how I wish I could go see this play! Described as a comedy, Backstairs Billy steps back to 1979 and shows the unlikely friendship between the Queen Mother and her servant William Tallon, nicknamed Billy. Having just opened at the Duke of York Theatre in the West End on October 27th and running until January 27, 2024, view this short video of the main actors Penelope Wilton who stars as the Queen Mother and Luke Evans as Tallon as they get dressed for their parts. After having read the review of the play in The Financial Times, I think anyone who has the opportunity to attend this play is in for a treat both as a reflection upon history, but also to enjoy great acting. Have a look at a brief video about the concept of the play below.


The Core of an Onion: Peeling the Rarest Common Food―Featuring More Than 100 Historical Recipes by Mark Kurlansky

Being released on November 7th, a book for both those who love food as well as lovers of history from the New York Times-bestselling author of Cod and Salt, “a look at the cultural, historical, and gastronomical layers of one of the world’s most beloved culinary staples-featuring original illustrations and recipes from around the world.” The Core of an Onion “begins with the science and history of the only sulfuric acid–spewing plant, then digs through its twenty varieties and the cultures built around them. Entering the kitchen, Kurlansky celebrates the raw, roasted, creamed, marinated, and pickled. Including a recipe section featuring more than one hundred dishes from around the world, The Core of an Onion shares the secrets to celebrated Parisian chef Alain Senderens’s onion soup eaten to cure late-night drunkenness; Hemingway’s raw onion and peanut butter sandwich; and the Gibson, a debonair gin martini garnished with a pickled onion.”

Perfectly Good Food: A Totally Achievable Zero Waste Approach to Home Cooking by Margaret and Irene Li

Released this past June, I wanted to bring Margaret and Irene Li’s book Perfectly Good Food to your attention as we are about to head into the holiday season that finds us serving (attempting to be fed) food in abundance and often causing us to have many leftovers or too much and maybe not always knowing what to do with it.

Paired with 30 illustrations, “written by the chef-sisters behind Boston’s acclaimed Mei Mei Dumplings, this cookbook/field guide is a crucial resource for the thrifty chef, the environmentally mindful cook, and anyone looking to make the most of their ingredients.

Perfectly Good Food is a book for those moments everyone has, whether you cook for one or a whole household―moments standing before an overfull pantry or near-empty fridge, not sure what to do with an abundance of summer tomatoes or the last of the droopy spinach. Chock-full of ingenious use-it-up tips, smart storage ideas, and infinitely adaptable recipes, this book will teach you

  • why smoothies are your secret weapon;
  • how to freeze (almost) anything;
  • why using your senses in the kitchen (including common sense!) is more important than so-called shelf-life.”

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Director and writer Sofia Coppola’s new independent film that has been highly anticipated, Priscilla, centered around the life of Priscilla Presley is now released today.

“Through Priscilla’s eyes, Sofia Coppola tells the unseen side of a great American myth in Elvis and Priscilla’s long courtship and turbulent marriage, from a German army base to his dream-world estate at Graceland, in this deeply felt and ravishingly detailed portrait of love, fantasy, and fame.” Have a look at the trailer below.


A new film starring Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin, who was an advisor to Martin Luther King Jr. and dedicated his life to the quest for racial equality, human rights and worldwide democracy, titled simply Rustin, is released today, produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company High Ground. As an openly gay Black man, he has been all but erased from the civil rights movement he helped build, and now this new film, Rustin, seeks to bring his name, his dedication to peaceful protest and his unwavering efforts, to light. It was in 2013 that President Barack Obama awarded Bayard Rustin with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Have a look at the trailer below and look for it on Netflix beginning today.

What Happens Later

Director Meg Ryan’s new film What Happens Later, has her starring alongside David Duchovny where their characters are two ex-lovers who find themselves stranded in a regional airport. Bill (Duchovny) and Willa (Ryan) find themselves indefinitely delayed overnight. During this time, “Willa, a magical thinker, and Bill, a catastrophic one, find themselves just as attracted to and annoyed by one another as they did decades earlier. But as they unpack the riddle of their mutual past and compare their lives to the dreams they once shared, they begin to wonder if their reunion is mere coincidence, or something more enchanted.” Look for it in theaters beginning today, and have a look at the trailer below.

Francophile Find

Satori in Paris by Jack Kerouac

A book I am asking myself, Why haven’t I read this book yet? is a book that I will most definitely be reading soon. A memoir from Jack Kerouac originally published in 1966, Satori in Paris is a “semi-autobiographical tale of Kerouac’s own trip to France, to trace his ancestors and explore his own understanding of the Buddhism that came to define his beliefs, contains some of Kerouac’s most lyrical descriptions. From his reports of the strangers he meets and the all-night conversations he enjoys in seedy bars in Paris and Brittany, to the moment in a cab he experiences Buddhism’s satori – a feeling of sudden awakening – Kerouac’s affecting and revolutionary writing transports the reader.”


Barbour Mersea Knitted Jumper

A gorgeous cozy sweater. Cozying in or donning to stay warm outside, both desired goals will definitely be experienced when this beauty is pulled on.

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J.Crew Holiday Collection

J.Crew just released their holiday collection, and there are some wonderful sweaters included, some Fair Isle styles that are worth checking out. I have shopped a few below along with more favorites from the collection that caught my eye.

Cable-knit crewneck sweater (many colors)

~Cotton turtleneck sweater for women (navy & bone stripe and bone seen below)

Tory Burch Ella geometric-print tote (25% off)

Sometimes having a classically shaped, yet subtly colorful tote is a fantastic idea especially if you, like me, wear a slightly neutral wardrobe, and this tote is just such a tote – modern, yet classic. And there is only one left and it is 25% off.

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Weston Table Canvas Market Tote (separate compartments)

A unique and functional tote to either take to the farmers’ market or gift to that person on your holiday shopping list that loves to go to the market and always comes home with a bundle of fresh produce but may not have the best or large enough tote.

Sur la Table Early Black Friday Sale

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Sur la Table has begun the Black Friday sales early. Very early, but if you are in need of kitchen supplies or have anyone on your holiday shopping list that loves to cook, this is a sale to explore. Save up to 60% on nearly everything in the shop. This petite cocotte, ideal for single servings of favorite dishes, was one of the many items (oodles of Le Creuset available) that caught my eye.


Buccaneers, AppleTV+

Maybe you saw the trailer this past Wednesday prior to tuning in to The Morning Show on AppleTV+, and perhaps you vaguely recall that a series was released a couple of decades ago (1995) of the same name (and you would be right – released in the UK and now available on streaming services here in America). This new version of Buccaneers is a modern take on Edith Wharton’s unfinished novel of the same name published posthumously in 1938. This new adaptation is a British period drama television series created by Katherine Jakeways, and follows “the arrival of a group of American women into 1870s London society results in a culture clash, with two differing approaches to tradition.” Have a look at the trailer below and look for it to premiere next week on the 8th. Three of the total eight episodes will be released.

Holiday Shopping Guide Peek!

~TSLL’s Annual Holiday Shopping Guide for Francophiles and Anglophiles

Stop by the blog tomorrow, Saturday November 4th to shop the entire Holiday Shopping Guide filled with more than 50 finds for that Francophile and Anglophile on your list and perhaps find a few things you will want to tell Santa you would love to receive under the tree or in your stocking. ☺️ Below is a peek at one of the many Advent Calendars that you will find, ideal for those who love a good cuppa and a biscuit to dunk and nibble on.

(and if you are viewing this post on Saturday or after, click here to begin shopping the Holiday Guide!)

Tslls Annual Holiday Gift Guide For

Walker’s Shortbread Limited Edition Advent Calendar, 2023

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Happy Friday and with the arrival of Halloween this past Tuesday, it now feels as though the holiday season for late autumn and winter has arrived. Saying hello to neighbors as they walked about the neighborhood with their children all dressed up in such creative costumes ringing the door bell (Nelle loved saying hi to all of the kids), it was a wonderful way to begin this festive time of year.

With that said, as I mentioned above, look for TSLL’s Annual Holiday shopping guide to be released tomorrow where more than 50 finds specifically for Francophiles and Anglophiles will be included. This weekend looks to be an ideal time to snuggle in at Le Papillon and plan out the holiday to-dos, events and gift list with rain forecasted all the way through, so I am looking forward – after storing my dahlia tubers that I lifted last weekend – to easing into this time of year. For me, the holiday season is slow and nothing grand to see on the outside to onlookers, but that is precisely how I like it. Welcoming new traditions, looking forward to enjoying again just recently began traditions such as the progressive dinner with my neighbors, I have a strong suspicion this year will be extra special, and I wish the same for you and yours as well.

Norman and Nelle have been my shadows since I returned home from England, and our walks have been many, so we will definitely be taking a few of those this weekend as well, no matter how much or little rain decides to fall.


The past week on the blog has been quite full of content to explore, and if you are TOP Tier Member, while there are many reasons to tune in to this month’s A Cuppa Moments (Anglophiles – this one is for you!), another reason is to be sure you enter in time the giveaway I will be sharing. ☺️ With a new episode (#368) of the podcast sharing the 14 Characteristics of A Simple Sophisticate to an extra-full Smile post sharing 19 moments, many of then British-inspired, to a new recipe shared on the cooking show that many readers have already made and enjoyed since it aired this past Saturday, I do hope you find something that speaks to what your curiosity is drawn to this weekend.

And with that, to the weekend! ☺️ Thank you for stopping by today and until tomorrow, bonne journée.

~What makes an interior inspiring for creatives? [House & Garden UK]

~Parlez-vous Parisian? How to speak like. local in the French capital [FT]

~Speaking of speaking French, if you have ever taken on the journey of learning a new language, especially on your own, and not in a traditional classroom setting, along the journey you may doubt that you will be able to make anymore progress, hitting what they call a Language-learning Plateau. But fret not. This is when some people mistakenly choose to stop continuing to learn. It is important to understand how the mind works – it is changing and grasping all that you are learning gradually, and it will eventually begin to improve and grasp what you are seeking. Read this article for more reassurance, How to Get Past Your Language-learning Plateau [Babbel]

~Monty Don’s November post – Garden Tips & Advice, and thinking fondly of his sweet Nellie girl xo (many tears were cried this past weekend with the news)

~A tour of this Sussex country home always makes me smile and provides much English cozy décor inspiration – Jo Rodgers’ home-away-from-home while her London house was being remodeled [House & Garden UK]

~Nigel Slater’s recipe for Hazelnut biscuits [The Guardian]

~Why there is no place like home for introverts [Introvert, Dear]

~Now to Paris where The Earful Tower explores an epic Parisian library – Mazarin Gallery

~Read the profile piece of Vogue France’s cover with Victoria Beckham. See what is in her bag here in a Vogue video (in English, subtitles in French).

~Watch a video detailing the history of Mrs. Caroline Astor to gain a bit more background for the character played by Donna Murphy in The Gilded Age (on Max) seeing inside her many mansions and how they were furnished. The premiere episode of the second season began well, and I am looking forward to enjoying watching again this Sunday.


~And now, oh my, Season 6 of The Crown has released the trailer for part one (available on November 16th).

~Explore last week’s This & That: October 27, 2023

Bibliophiles are in for a treat (and I promise, no trick) this week as I have no fewer than 10 books of all sorts of genres to share with you, many of them Editor’s Picks and all definitely worth exploring. As well, a fantastic new film I cannot wait to see that reunites the magic that had such great success in Sideways. Fall style finds are also shared along with two sales and the return of a favorite show that takes us back just over 100 years in US history. Plus, much, 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.

14 thoughts on “This & That: November 3, 2023

  1. Thank you for the many movie and book suggestions. I, too, will plan to read the Barbra autobiography and check out some of the movies.

    1. Hello Judy! Thank you for stopping by and I do hope you enjoy the films. Meg Ryan’s is playing at a local theater her, so I look forward to seeing it soon. May you also enjoy Barbara’s autobiography. She is such a force. I look forward to learning more about her. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. 😌💛

  2. Dear Shannon, I’m currently snuggling in at home as I have COVID so looking forward to digging in to the links this week and the holiday guide. I have already ordered the walkers advent calendar as I spotted it when I was looking for my usual Scottie biscuits. Have a lovely weekend. X

    1. Nicola,

      Oh, I do hope you are well soon. 😌 And in the meantime, enjoy this downtown. Grateful you stopped by and I too think Walkers might be my Advent this year. Their buttery biscuits are so good! Take care and love to Hamish. 😌🐾❤️

      1. Thank you. Hamish is settling in well at home again after our holiday. Although it’s bonfire night weekend and he’s not keen on the fireworks. X

        1. As I was listening to Classic FM, when I learned of their Pets Classic where they play gentle compositions all evening both last night and tonight in response to this UK holiday this weekend, I so appreciated their thoughtfulness and now I will think of Hamish as I too would be nestled at home with my pups and helping them remain calm. Please tell Hamish I understand. 🙂

          1. Interestingly, we put classic FM on for him last night and he was snoring pretty quickly. They do it every year. X

          2. I have been enjoying the station immensely, and am grateful to have learned of it while visiting. It is now regularly played now at home in Bend. Happy to hear it brought calm and sleep to Hamish. 😌

    2. Nicola, hoping for your speedy recovery, my husband went through a bout recently, so while for most it’s not debilitating, it’s still exhausting and just not fun. Treat yourself VERY sweetly and don’t rush recovery. And the Walker’s Advent Calendar is a must in this household. Although I’ll need to find a chocolate-y one just for me😄. Feel better soon. xx

  3. Shannon, isn’t Create Academy fun? I love that you can watch free episode of their offerings to see if they are a fit. Kathryn Ireland’s course is one I’ve been looking at as well and also that sumptuous-looking course from Alidad, yun! But also those from Dan Pearson, Arthur Parkinson, Nina Campbell..good news is they do offer bundles and periodic sales, or I would be beggared in no time!
    So much to savor and peruse and enjoy in this T&T:
    -My Name is Barbra(ICON!)
    -What Happens Later(what an excellent pairing!)
    -J. Crew, ya know, every single thing(Sale on now BTW!)
    -Walker’s Advent Calendar!?!?!?!?! YASSSSS!!
    -Kerouac’s Satori(counter-culture icon)
    -Basically all the article links😄(So gut wrenching to read Monty Don’s post earlier, yes, many tears)
    -Backstairs Billy(fingers crossed for a book or better yet, a movie on Britbox or Netflix)
    -Anything Nigel Slater(must now pick up the book mentioned this month’s stunning A Cuppa, many thanks)
    Thank you Shannon, have a wonderful Sunday and fabulous week ahead! Smooches and nose-boops to the puppers. xx~R

  4. I love your weekly posts and the Christmas gift guide is wonderful….I just can’t “do” Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. Nothing. Nada. I absolutely love Thanksgiving and look forward to it all year long and it always seems to get short shrift. 🙂 Just today I went into Michael’s for some raffia for my Thanksgiving table, had to look high and low…the clerk told me that Halloween is bigger than Thanksgiving nowadays so retail just goes right from that $$-making October holiday to Christmas. Sigh. I just crave the slowness of this time of year (so I am with you when you are sitting calmly to write your holiday plans….) and simply love the day of and weekend following Thanksgiving, it’s all about gratitude until GREED hits on Cyber Monday. Ugh. And, of course I am always late with my present hunting since I don’t start until the first of December….oh well, trade offs! Keep up the good work! 🙂

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