This & That: October 1, 2021
Friday October 1, 2021

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A new French film, a new British film. Both worth watching! A new novel critics are praising, sales on clothes and décor, a cashmere cozy oversized sweater to love, more and more inspiration for gardeners, and still, there is more.


—Nuxe Body Rêve de Thé Firming Body Cream

I recently began using Nuxe’s body cream and while it is too soon to know how effective it is, the scent is subtle and lovely, and the cream itself “is soft on the skin, and contains a firming duo combining green tea and a rye extract.” Designed and made in France, I look forward to determining if indeed more elasticity is seen because already my skin is moisturized which not all lotions do especially since I love in an arid climate.


A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003—2020) by David Sedaris

Being released this coming Tuesday, David Sedaris reaches back into his diaries to share “the bitter and the sweet from the past nearly twenty years. Sharing observations he jotted down: a fight between two men on a bus, a fight between two men on the street, pedestrians being whacked over the head . . . there’s a dirty joke shared at a book signing, then a dirtier one told at a dinner party—lots of jokes here. Plenty of laughs.” Sedaris will be going on tour early next year and into the spring as he stops by Bend once again in May. Be sure to find a ticket if you need a deep laugh and unexpected observations about his daily life.

The Lying Life of Adults: A Novel by Elena Ferrante

Released last month and already described as one of the best books of the year by top reviewers, The Lying Life of Adults is a “novel set in a divided Naples where a fourteen-year-old Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which wears a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity, where her guide is the unforgettable Aunt Vittoria.”

The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony by Jay J. Van Bavel PhD and Dominic J. Packer PhD

After listening to this podcast episode of The Hidden Brain focusing on Group Think, I immediately went to look for the book being discussed – The Power of Us. “In The Power of Us, psychologists Dominic Packer and Jay Van Bavel integrate their own cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to explain how identity really works and how to harness its dynamic nature to:

  • Boost cooperation and productivity
  • Overcome bias
  • Escape from echo chambers
  • Break political gridlock
  • Foster dissent and mobilize for change
  • Lead effectively
  • Galvanize action to address persistent global problems”

British Finds

RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2021

Last Saturday, I lamented for a moment there was not a new episode of Gardeners’ World, but then I remembered! The RHS Chelsea Flower Show had just concluded, which meant Monty and the team were busy elsewhere. I also remembered seeing a note about epodes from the Flower Show on BritBox, and sure enough, seven full one-hour episodes tour the show gardens, as well as seeing inspiring ideas and tips from the hosts and the gardeners whose work was on display. I highly recommend checking it out.

Romantics and Classics: Style in the English Country House by Hugo Rittson Thomas and Jeremy Musson

Released this past spring, if you have a penchant for English country decor, this is the book for you. The book welcomes readers into “some of the most exceptional of England’s historic houses that are lived in and decorated for today by their imaginative owners and designers. Jeremy Musson and Hugo Rittson Thomas have assembled a stunning collection of twenty charming homes that reveal a remarkable wealth of taste and style inspiration, both inside and out, ranging from traditional and classic to contemporary and bohemian, with examples including Haddon Hall, Smedmore, Court of Noke, and The Laskett.”

Falling for Figaro

Already available in the UK, Falling for Figaro begins to be available for streaming today; however, I am having a difficult time finding out where. Regardless, keep an eye out for it as it looks wonderful. “Millie is a brilliant young fund manager who decides to leave her unfulfilling job and long-term boyfriend behind to chase her lifelong dream of becoming an opera singer…in the Scottish Highlands. She begins intense vocal training lessons with renowned but fearsome singing teacher and former opera diva Meghan Geoffrey-Bishop. It is there she meets Max, another of Meghan’s students who is also training for the upcoming “Singer of Renown” contest. What begins as a brutal competition between Millie and Max slowly turns into something more…”. Have a look at the trailer below.

Francophile Find

La Bonne Épouse (How to Be a Good Wife)

Earning four nominations in the best acting and supporting acting categories for the French equivalent of the Oscars, the Césars, earlier this year, La Bonne Épouse centers around “Paulette (Juliette Binoche) and her husband who have been running a housekeeping school. After the sudden death of her husband, Paulette discovers that the school is on the verge of bankruptcy and has to take her responsibilities.” Have a look at the trailer below and look for it to begin streaming soon or in a theater specializing in foreign films.


J.Crew Ribbed-cashmere oversized Turtleneck Sweater in Stripe

Cozy, cozy, cozy. Count me in on this one.

Mango Site-Wide Sale, 30% off

I shopped a handful of items below, but before to check out the entire site for incredibly low prices on layering pieces for your fall wardrobe.

Polo Ralph Lauren Vachetta Kitten-Heel (black is also available)

I love this boot for its versatility, narrow heel so as to be worn with a dress or fine-fabric trousers. But mostly, to elevate the everyday fall attire.

Salvador Ferragamo tan, leather tote, 45% off

An investment, but a handbag you will have for the rest of your life. Stunning. Absolutely stunning (and on sale).

Serena & Lily Fall Design Event Sale (20% off)

Just about everything is on sale at Serena & Lily at the moment and until October 4th. Use promo code NEWSEASON and save on furniture, lights, wallpaper, table decor and more. I picked a few items below, but be sure to shop the entire site here.


My Life Is Murder

I am new to this series, and already Season 2 is available. Starring Lucy Lawless, the New Zealand murder mystery series follows ex-cop Alexa Crowe who returns to her roots in New Zealand and along with solving crimes has to heal herself as well. Check out the trailer to the first season below and find it on AcornTV.

Savoring happy memories, and the above drawing does just that. When Oscar was only about four or six months old, while we lived in Portland, I happened to go into a grocery store as you do, and a couple of artists were drawing caricatures of pets and their owners to raise money for a local humane society. A win-win! So we sat, and we were captured, and this drawing has been with me ever since. I think I will be improving the frame and making sure it is properly cared for in the coming months. It makes me smile every time I see it and grateful to have it.

I want to thank everyone who visited the post in memoriam to my Mr. Oscar. Every single comment was read and read again (tears streaming along with yours, and perhaps that is part of the healing – shared tears). And while I won’t be able to respond to each one, I am grateful for them all. You gave me more than you’ll know in the most powerfully healing way. I did not expect it, and I will never forget it. Thank you.

Autumn arrived, and she is stunning and brilliantly gorgeous. I typed away a bit outside in the sunshine garden on this post, and what a treat that was. I will be picking strawberries and blackberries in the garden this weekend, making Ted Lasso’s biscuit recipe and perhaps visiting this weekend’s farmers market to enjoy the final weeks it is open. I hope your weekend ahead makes available time to do as you most enjoy. I have gathered together a few posts and articles as well as one video I think you might enjoy.

Be sure to stop back by tomorrow as a new episode of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen will air (a chocolate dessert!), and on Monday, a brand new podcast episode with TWO petit plaisirs. Thank you for visiting TSLL and wishing you a great weekend. Bonne journée.

~It’s Friday and perhaps it’s Pizza Night at your household. In which case, you might just thoroughly enjoy this podcast episode from The Splendid Table. I know I did – Pizza: Origin, Culture and Making It

~A big YUM to this recipe – Tomato carmalised onion and goat cheese tart [Twigg Studios]

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

~THIS article! It has TSLL vibes when it comes to our well-being and how we go about living our daily lives – Returning to the Office and the Future of Work: We exist to do more than just work [The New York Times]

~The fall season brings the rain. Make sure you have wellies you love – The Finest Wellies You Can Buy [Country Living UK]

~A detailed profile interview with the stars of The Morning Show [The New York Times]

~5 reasons to begin meditating today [Pick the Brain]

~A tour of a Cotswolds’ home full of texture [Architectural Digest]

~Thought-provoking and worth reading: It’s Time to Retire the Phrase ‘Working Mom’ [Romper]

~Spare room ideas for every kind of home [House & Garden UK]

~I appreciated this post by Seth Godin about the misperception of thinking we need to know all the answers.

~The boulangerie that won Best Baguette of 2021 is in the 12th arrondissement! [France Bleu]

~I greatly appreciated this post by contributing writer on Rick Steves’ blog – What It’s Like to Travel in Europe During COVID

~Where it aaaaaallllll began regarding the inspiration for Ted Lasso – eight years ago, this commercial was created to announce a new addition to NBC Sports . . . | The Simply Luxurious Life

10 thoughts on “This & That: October 1, 2021

  1. Great wind-up for the week, Shannon, thank you. I grew up listening to classical music (and opera!), but — to much parental horror — when I discovered Led Zeppelin in my teens I was lost to rock forever 🙂 [Had my mother actually listened to some of the lyrics — Black Dog, for instance — instead of just rolling her eyes, I’d have been locked in my room until I was 30.] I’ve been heard to say that if I can’t feel the bass it’s not worth listening to, but the truth is I still quite like opera — & love Joanna Lumley to bits — so look forward to seeing Falling for Figaro. I also love Lucy Lawless & NZ drama, so My Life is Murder is at the top of my list as well. And those Lauren boots . . .oh, my! And so much good reading I haven’t even gotten to yet. Have a gentle weekend, Shannon. That sketch of you with Oscar is priceless, one of those things you do on a whim that years later becomes one of the best things you ever did. He was, indeed, a Good Boy. Hugs to you & Norman.

  2. Happy weekend Shannon. I hope you have been kind to yourself this week.
    Falling for Figaro caught my eye – it reminded me of Brittany Runs a Marathon which I really enjoyed.
    Can I recommend a series I read about starting on Netflix (or may already be on there) – On the Verge starring Julie Delpy as a French Chef.. I read it and thought that sounds like a show I’d love and Shannon would recommend! I’ve not seen it yet but will definitely be checking it out.
    Your weekend ahead sounds lovely. I too will be baking – a birthday cake! For my husband who turns a year older next week.
    I look forward to joining you for both a cuppa moments and TSL Kitchen this weekend – what a treat!
    Sarah x

  3. The Ted Lasso video had me in stitches! Oh, when he said, “Ties, no playoffs? Why do you even do this?” I almost fell over…lol. I couldn’t find “falling for Figaro” streaming anywhere either. I think we have to wait a bit more for it to be released in the states.

  4. Please keep us posted on the body cream. I’ve tried so many but with few results!

    The French movie looks great.


  5. Hi Shannon –

    I’m sure you will be mentioning the new Amor Towles book, The Lincoln Highway, that comes out next week. I thought you might not know that he is doing a number of virtual book talks with famous authors during the month of October (a few are in person). If you go to his website and look up events you can see the list. I have signed up for the one with Ken Burns! I have seen and heard him before (talking about A Gentleman in Moscow), and he is an extremely compelling speaker.

  6. Another great selection for us all. I love David Sedaris as he is so funny. I stumbled across him reading his writing on my favourite radio station (BBCR4). He is a brilliant raconteur.

    The rain has arrived here so a great weekend to cozy in, although the puppy will need a walk. Hopefully, we can also see the new Bond film! Have a lovely weekend and so heartened by your comments about being comforted by all your reader’s love. We’re all sending you hugs and thoughts as you remember your Oscar. X

  7. Thank you, Shannon, for another splendid set of inspirations!

    My favourite this week has to be the drawing of you with little Oscar. 🙂

    Not related: I watched “I am your man” over the weekend and found it a nice film. Good performance by Dan Stevens.

    Have a good week, everyone!

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